Showing posts from March, 2009

Salute to BRK

BigRedKitty has called it quits on WoW and Blogging and after reading his goodbye post , I agree with his decision 1000%. All of us have to be cognisant of the place WoW holds in our lives and we need to maintain a balance. My Dad always made an analogy to juggling balls. The more things you add to your life, the harder it is to juggle all those balls. Eventually, BRK decided that he had to let the WoW and Blog 'balls' drop, so he could keep other balls like his marriage and his children spinning. If I ever got the impression my WoW time, or Blogging time was having a negative impact on my marriage, or my time with my daughter, I'd be gone in a skinny minute. BRK was one of the first WoW Blogs that I read, and it was a big part of why I got into Blogging in the first place. He had a way of making it sound like he was having so much fun playing his Hunter, and he was helping others who enjoyed the class as well. I wanted to do something like that for Protection Pal

The Few, The Proud, Heroes Inc

Let me bring you up to speed on what's been going on with Honorshammer lately. My recently renamed Raid Team got together and did a run for "The Dedicated Few". We are basically just working on Achievements right now. Most of the veterans of my raid team need only 4 Achievements (Shocking, Undying, Sarth3D, 6 Min Maly) to get Glory of the Raider. Some of us had this crazy idea that we might pull off "Undying" as well, but we made sure that wasn't going to happen fairly early. I felt bad for the Rogue who had to sit out since we had nine people ready to go at the start. Hopefully, we'll be able to do this again so he can get it. Dedicated Few was actually pretty fun. I ended up dying on Maexna because we had two Enraged Web Wraps. I was able to Bubble Wall the first one, but I had nothing for the second. Lay On Hands doesn't work while you are web wrapped, and all your avoidance is taken away. We were also hoping to get Shocking, where you d

It Felt Really Good

By honorshammer at 2009-03-30 Thunderbolt was one of the Warlocks I did Tier 6 content with during my time in Dominion. Raist is the Guild Leader of Salvation and a guy did Tier 4 and 5 with in Mal Katai. It is really nice to know that people you've gone to battle with both respect and admire your play. Thanks guys! I appreciate it!

What Do I Want To Be

To me, the question was always between Mining and Blacksmithing as for my new profession once I drop Engineering. But last night, one of my guild mates suggested I also evaluate becoming an Enchanter. I need to evaluate what it is I want from my Profession slots. Basically, I'm after two things. A) Raid utility competitive (not necessarily better, but within a few percents) of any other profession and B) a way to make some gold for my character. Jewelcrafting does both in spades, and it is a very popular profession. Engineering fails on both accounts A and B, and that is a large part of the reason I'm looking at dropping it. What follows is my brief analysis of each profession, with help from the Elitist Jerks profession analysis thread . Mining Raid Utility: 50 stamina Gold making: Excellent Blacksmithing Raid Utility: 2 extra sockets, flexibility Gold Making: Poor Enchanting Raid Utility: Ring Enchants (24 stam x 2 = 48 stam, AP enchants for Ret) Gold Making: Good Wh

Very Angry Indeed

Bornakk wrote: The changes that are in the latest version of the patch notes are what we currently have planned for engineering in patch 3.1.The perks for engineering are different compared to other professions but engineering has always been a bit unique with their toys and whatnot. We feel the perks work out compared to what other classes have for the time being and have no changes planned at this time.The mote extractor was put in to help get money through the profession which works pretty well. /equip tin foil hat. "This makes me so angry, very angry indeed." I love the Marvin the Martian. His quote sums up pretty well how I feel about this communication from the Developers. At this point my second profession slot could be completely blank, and it wouldn't make much difference to my toon. I've been waiting and waiting for Blizzard to take one of the countless good, creative suggestions from the Profession forum and use it to bring Engineering u

A Peek Behind The Curtain

This is a post I saved from the World of Warcraft EU General Forums before they were wiped. The specific issue was looking at Engineering, but what I liked about it was how it showed some of the constraints on what they can do. The original post was here: but those forums were wiped out when Blizzard upgraded. There's not much logic to it, at least in the sense that we have some kind of Standard Operating Procedure that we follow. Some changes are very simple and a designer can just go to their desk and make a change in a few seconds. We try to hit lots of these rather than let them all get bottled up behind the big, complex issues we are wrestling with. Other changes are almost as easy. A designer feels like nobody will really object to a change and that it's pretty low risk. At most they might bounce it off one or two more people as a sanity check. Other changes require a lot more discussion

Yes, I Really Am That Powerful

So yesterday I blogged about the current state of Arenas , and why I thought Arenas were seeing a decline in popularity. Blizzard recently announced some changes to Season 6. It's obvious to me that the Developers made these changes due to my excellent blog post. (We'll choose to ignore the fact that the blue post was likely written before my blog was posted.) With Arena Season 6, arena teams will start at 0 rating instead of 1500, which will allow teams to have more continuous progression throughout the arena season. In addition, we reevaluated item purchases and felt many of them were too difficult to obtain so we will be altering the rating requirements needed to purchase the latest arena items. For example, items with a rating requirement will now be obtainable starting at 1250 rating. As with the current system, the matchmaking system will attempt to match teams against opponents who are closest to their average matchmaking rating. Starting with Arena Season 6, a team

We've Fallen Off The Path

This article "65% fewer Arena teams in Season 5" has lit up discussion across the blogsphere and message boards. The original article itself has over 150 comments. I believe the phenomenon is most easily explained, and predicted, by an article by Rohan of Blessing of Kings call Being On The Path . This was written back in May of 2008. Allow me to quote a few paragraphs from that excellent piece: The key is the concept of "Being On The Path" for endgame content. In nutshell, the number of people who reach the highest point of endgame is less important than the number of people who are working towards--and feel that they one day could achieve--that point. As long as a player is "on the path", everything is fine. The real crisis point are when people are unable to get on the path, or their progress on the path becomes completely blocked. I think it is more important to help the guilds who are trying to become raiding guilds. To help the people who cannot get

Really, What Were They Doing?

I logged into WoW about an hour before our Sarth3D attempts were supposed to start. So I decided to portal over to Exodar. I’ve been knocking out lowbie quests in the Draenai starting area. This is an extraordinarily time efficient way to work on several achievements at once: the Explorer, the LoreMaster, and the Ambassador. I do my best to not intrude on people leveling. If I see a lowbie going for a quest mob, I’ll wait, or offer to group with them. I try minimizing my use of AoE spells so I don’t kill anymore quest mobs than I have to, and leave plenty alive for the lowbies leveling. I’m starting with Draenai quests because that’s the home city reputation that is the lowest, and conveniently, they are on Kalimdor where I need the most quests for Loremaster. In addition, it’s an area of the map I’ve never explored. Imagine my surprise when I see the Local Defense channel start squawking that Odysseys’ Landing was under attack. Now I play on a PVP server, but even on a PVP ser

This Is Not A Hunter Blog

Yet most of my playtime this weekend, I played my Hunter. I got him up to level 77 and purchased his Cold Weather Flying. I discovered that you can in fact buy Cold Weather Flying before you buy the epic flying, and fly really slowly around Northrend. Still being able to fly is a huge boon to questing. Recently, I changed him from Beast Master over to Survival. I had never had him as anything but Beast Master. I have to say, I am really enjoying being Survival. As soon as I saw talents like Survivalist (increase your Stamina by up to 10%) and Hunter Versus Wild (30% of your Stamina is converted to Attack Power), I started to think this tree might fit my 'tank' and 'defensive' mindsets a little better. I totally loved the fact that I could grant myself replenishment. Additionally, I really liked the added Crowd Control options with Shatter Shot and Wyvern Sting. I would come to appreciate those CC options as I ripped mobs off my pet much faster than I did when I wa

I May Never Zone Into Storm Peaks Again

After what seemed like an eternity, Honorshammer finally got Exalted with Sons Of Hodir. I upgraded my shoulder enchants, and bought the Smooth Autumn's Glow pattern. Doing SoH Dailies on Altar of Storms is a bit of challenge. For the most part, the Horde and Alliance leave each other alone. Everyone just wants to get their dailies done and get back to whatever it is they really want to be doing. Every now and again, you'll get an ambitious Rogue or Death Knight who will decided they want to engage in some PVP. Given the population imbalance on Altar of Storms, this is almost always a Horde Rogue or Death Knight. Usually a couple of Alliance will team up (or gang up depending on which side of the Faction fence you sit) to take on the Horde. Invariably, he will this is 'unfair' and call for help for the 'ganking Alliance'. My personal favorite PVP encounter was deep in the cave where you get the oil for Polishing the Helm. I was fighting a blob and two worms w

[PTR} Ulduar and the Paladin Tank (Part Deux)

So after a little more information has come out it seems that my two major concerns with Ulduar are relatively moot at this point. General Vezaxs' Aura of Dispair (no mana for you!) will at least allow Spiritual Attunement to work partially. As hard as he's hitting on the PTR, I think even with it working partially, it will be enough to keep me going with a full threat rotation. In addition, they've added a melee attack slow which hurts Warriors, Druids and Death Knights far more than it hurts Paladins. Secondly, Auriaya’s Horrifying Screech is now a Horrify making all tanks equally susceptible to it. This is the danger about posting about a PTR, the Developers can and will change things on you. I no longer feel the color of my raid frame will have any impact on my team's ability to defeat these encounters.

[PTR] Ulduar and the Paladin Tank

When discussing changes to tanks, the Developers - through Ghostcrawler - has repeatedly said that they did not want to penalize groups that choose one tanking class over another as their main tank. Sometimes this was communicated with a specific tanking class in his comment such as ‘We don’t want to penalize groups that chose a Druid for their main tank.’ That may not be a direct quote, but a paraphrase of what’s been said going all the way back to Wrath Beta. Now we have the first new significant Raid content released for Wrath, and as Paladin Tanks look at the information available from testing on the PTR, we can identify two cases where the design has heavily penalized guilds that chose Paladin main tanks. Specifically let’s examine at Auriaya’s Horrifying Screech, and General Vezax’s Aura of Despair. Both of these abilities severally affect the ability of a Paladin to successfully tank these bosses. Some may feel that these abilities go so far as to make the Paladin tank a non

The Achievement Game

My Raid Team has cleared all the 'normal' content, and can do it quite easily. So now we set our sites on Hard Modes and Achievements. We have our sites set on 3 Achievements at the moment: You Don't Have An Eternity (6 minute Malygos kill), Twilight Zone (Sartharian with 3 Drakes), and Undying (no deaths on any boss fight in Naxx). We decided to start with Malygos. I was tanking Malygos and not moving him at all to allow for maximum DPS. Our resident Death Knight would Death Grip the Sparks into position. This was the first time since I dinged 80 that I've felt pressure on threat. Our DPS was really cranking. When we got to Phase 2, I would tank the guys on the ground while Ranged DPS took out the guys in the air, and then they burnt down the ground Adds. We were actually looking good going into Phase 3. We tried having just one Dragon heal the raid, but it was just too much and dragons started dropping from the sky. We jumped off the mounts and reset it.

Weapon Enchant (circa 3.0.8)

There was some discussion about why I chose Agility for my Weapon Enchant on Last Laugh, so let’s take a moment and examine what Paladin’s should be doing for their weapon enchant as of Patch 3.0.8. Looking at Petrus’ Guide to Gems and Enchants , we can see 4 major choices: [Enchant Weapon - Accuracy] : +25 Hit Rating and Critical Strike Rating and Blue Glow : Crafted (Enchanting) [Enchant Weapon - Exceptional Agility] : +26 Agility and Green Glow : Crafted (Enchanting) [Enchant Weapon - Potency] : +20 Strength and Green Glow : Crafted (Enchanting) [Titanium Weapon Chain] : +28 Hit Rating, Reduce the Duration of Disarm Effects by 50%, and White Glow : Crafted (Blacksmithing) Let’s break these down and categorize them. Threat Enchants: Accuracy, Potency and Weapon Chain. Recent analysis shows hit rating to be the second-best paladin threat stat. Theck of Blackrock ran the numbers for us: Accuracy: 27.6 DPS, 70.2 TPS Potency: 21.2 DPS, 54.8 TPS Weapon Chain: 20.3 DPS, 52.3 TPS

Seeking Professional Advice

Honorshummer is my Hunter alt. I shall refer to him as Hummer for rest of this entry. Anytime I use Honors, I'm referring to my Main, Honorshammer. As Hummer nears 80, I've been thinking about Professions both for him and for my main. Honors is Jewelcrafting and Engineering while Hummer is skinning and mining. Actually part of the genesis of Hummer was to give Honors a miner to gather ore for his two production professions. The only one I'm absolutely not going to change is Jewelcrafting on Honors. That is both useful and profitable. Engineering on the other hand is neither. What I am considering is changing Hummer to an Miner/Engineer and making Honorshammer Mining/Jewelcrafting. This would make each toon more self reliant. Hummer would get more use out of the Engineering helm since I don't plan to raid much with him. He can also make his own ammo until such time as Blizzard implements it's plan to remove ammo from Hunters. It's sa

An Axe To Grind

Monday and Tuesday had been two of the most intense and fun nights in WoW that I have had since installing the Expansion. It was really nice to take a break Wednesday night and I wasn't really looking to do much on Thursday. I saw someone in Guild Chat asking if anyone wanted to go with Amber Knights to finish the Naxx25 run that had begun the night before. At that point, I was in Violet Hold on my Hunter, so I passed. Once the Violet Hold run was over, I switched over to Honors and asked if the run had filled up. It hadn't, so I got an invite. The Death Knight (Military) Wing, and Thaddius were all that remained in this instance, so we began with Razuvious. The two Priests had some communication issues and we lost an Understudy. Myself, and a Warrior were able to kite, and Shield Wall / Divine Protection long enough for the mind control to drop and get reacquired. It was a close call but we got him. For Gothik, I actually found myself solo tanking the Live side. I trie

So Malygos

I was still recovering from the effects of our earlier Sarth2D encounter as we flew out to Coldarra. I was trying to be slick and find my way to Malygos despite the fact I had never been there. After a couple of minutes of flying around, I broke down and asked for someone to show me the portal. (I had almost found it myself. =p) We zoned in. It was like suddenly we were in outer space. Seeing something on a YouTube video is one thing, seeing it for yourself is quite another. There was Malygos flapping around. He started yelling at us. I can't really blame the guy, we had just barged into his home. He was probably just about to crack open a cold frosty one and watch Dancing with The Stars. (My wife and Daughter LOVE that show.) Despite the fact that I had never even zoned into the Eye of Eternity before, Ellevis was going to have me tank Malygos so he could use Death Grip and position sparks. I felt like I had a good handle on the fight having watched the TankSpot video and

Go For Two

When we last left our intrepid team of Heroes, we had just cleared Naxx. We only had the dragons, Sartharian and Malygos left alive before the reset. We zoned into Sartharian and proceeded to kill trash and first drake. As you might have guessed from the title, when we got to Tenebron (the egg laying drake, I mix up the names), Ellevis, our raid leader instructed us to go around and not to engage him. I swallowed hard. I had spent some time preparing for Malygos. I hadn’t spent time studying up on Sarth plus Drakes. We worked our way around to the last drake (I think it was Vesperon), but we left him alive as well. So we were going to engage Sartharian with two of his drakes left alive. Prior to my joining Heroes, this raid team had successfully killed Sarth plus one, but never Sarth plus two. Ellevis explained the game plan. Our Feral Druid would tank Sartharian on the left front corner of the island. The entire raid would run to the back of the island. When Tenebron landed, E

Explaining the Screenshot

I guess a bit more explanation is in order. My friend, known online as Aoesrus, was the person who got me into World of Warcraft. We love to play the game together. In the time since we started playing, we've had different things happen in our lives and basically our play times are fairly desperate disparate now. Our characters level at different paces and we end up telling each other about what did rather than, you know, play the game together, which is why we got into this whole World of Warcraft thing to begin with. Several people from my guild are rolling Horde alts to play. So Aoes and I decide we will, too. But this time we are doing something different. These characters can't be played unless they are played together. Now, he decided to roll a Horde Paladin. I looked over the choices of the Blood Elf race, and decided that I would make a Paladin as well. The name was simple, although it did cross our minds for me to make a Blood Elf mage named Aoesrus and

Something Wrong With This Picture

I don't know, there's just something not quite right about this screenshot.

Can't Kill This?

Tuesday night I logged on and got ready for my first run with my new 10 man Team. Heroes run two 10 man ‘teams’ each week. We use the In Game Calendar to schedule Raids and to sign up. This is really great because I know a week or more in advanced what nights we are raiding, what the start time is and what zone we will be attacking. This night our Team which affectionately calls itself “Blue circles are just as enticing as Red” was going for the Undying achievement. To get this achievement, you have to kill every boss in Naxx with no one dying. I felt something as I flew the Gyrocopter out to Dragonblight that I haven’t felt in a while. That nervous excitement of knowing you are going to have to play your very best and not let your team down. We decided to start with the Death Knight wing. We cleared the trash quickly and got to Instructor Razuvious. I was on one crystal with my Death Knight co-Tank on the other. Everything was going according to plan until I tried to release

Heroic Naxx With Heroes

While my guild is concentrating mostly on 10 man content, from time to time, both of our raid teams join forces and tackle a 25 man. The run had started on Wednesday night which I missed, but I made it for the conclusion of the run on Monday night. Plague, Spider and Death Knight had been cleared on Wednesday, leaving Construct up for us. Tanks for the night were a Protection Paladin, a Frost Death Knight and a Feral Druid. We marked up the targets and began to work our way through the trash. The first boss you fight in the Construct wing is Patchwerk. We put the Protection Paladin on Patchwerk himself and the DK and Druid were taking Hatefuls. Our whole team did a great job, healers, DPS, and Tanks and we managed to one shot Patch. I’m not sure, but this may have been the first time that Heroes killed him on Heroic. This was my first 25 man with Heroes so I wasn’t sure how they did loot. It turns out they do a simple /roll for loot, main specs before offspecs and only 1 epic p

Building The Offset (Part 3 - DPS)

Yesterday we looked at some ‘failsafe’ options for DPSers to build a pretty decent Tank set. Today we are going to turn the tables and look at some ‘failsafe’ options for a Tank to build a pretty decent DPS set. Your big minimum as DPS is Hit, but even that is overshadowed by Strength. You need to reach about 8% Hit, but don’t sacrifice too much Strength to get there. You also need Expertise, Crit, Haste and Armor Penetration. You will actually find Strength, Hit, and Expertise on some Tanking gear, but it’s the Crit, Haste and Armor Penetration that really makes it DPS gear. You are going to see quite a bit of PVP gear on this list. Keep in mind that most of the PVP gear will get outperformed by PVE gear, but you may need a Heroic drop or Raiddrop to surpass the PVP item. If you don’t PVP, or don’t feel you can reach the necessary rating, as is my case, you can ignore those pieces. Head : Spiked Titansteel Helm (Crafted BoE = Gold) - This helm will not be replaced until Raiding.

Building The Offset (Part 2 - Tank)

So here we go. Yesterday, we talked in general about building a gear set. Today we’ll actually get into the meat of the Tanking gear set. Many of the ‘failsafe’ options I’ll talk about below are outclassed by Heroic and Raid drops. When a ‘failsafe’ piece is a really strong item, I’ll attempt to note it. I would be remiss to not acknowledge the large debt I owe to Eanin of Maintankadin for his assistance with Eanin’s Failsafe Tank Gearing Guide . As you build your Tank set, there are a couple of goals you want to keep in mind. The first being Defense, unless you are a Druid. Defense on gear is that subtle clue from Blizzard that it’s a tank item despite all that Strength and possibly Expertise and Hit on there. You need to reach 535 Defense for Heroics or Add tanking and 540 for Raid Bosses. There are other goals to reach for as a Tank, but many of them are simply not attainable in early gear. Just maintaining the Defense minimum will be a challenge for most until you start getting