Showing posts from April, 2009

Ulduar Spoils

Since we run a quasi loot council / random roll for loot, I decided to look over the loot tables and figure out what my upgrades in Ulduar would be. I’m disregarding 25 man loot as well as Emblems of Conquest because I don’t see my guild running that content. I’m perfectly okay with that as the 10 man environment is providing both the challenge and comradely I enjoy. I’m currently sporting the Heroes Redemption Faceguard . There are two helms out of Ulduar I could use. Ironbark Faceguard drops off of Freya and my Tier 8 Valorous Aegis Faceguard drops off of Mimiron. The two Helms are nearly identical. The T8 has a bit more strength, and a little less defense. The major difference is the Ironbark Faceguard has Expertise whereas the T8 has Block Rating. As I’m fairly sure I’m Block Capped, the Block Rating wouldn’t do anything for me, but as a Paladin Expertise is pretty low on the helpful stats list as well. I’m going to pass the first Ironbark we get to my Death Knight co-Tank. Exper

Usefulness of Block Rating to a Tankadin

How much Block Rating is useful on gear? That’s a question a reader asked me as he began to look at the new gear from Ulduar and from the new Emblems of Conquest vendor much of which is loaded with Block Rating. Block Rating is the easiest and most efficient way to get to what is called the Block Cap, or what used to be called Uncrushable at Level 70 before Crushing Blows were changed The Block Cap is a combined Miss, Parry, Dodge, and Block Rating of 102.5%. Once you reach that point, any additional Block Rating is not helping you. Oh, it’s still calculated into your Block percentage, but because of the way the attack table works, once you have more than 100% of combined Miss, Parry, Dodge and Block Rating, the game engine (which is what decides what happens in WoW) will not count it. . If you need a refresher on the Attack Table and how it works, I recommend Winchester’s Maintankadin 101 guide . “Picture it like a table, and there is only room for 100 plates on the table. 1

Noble Accomplishment

We had to cancel our raid on Monday due to scheduling conflicts. That gave me some time to finish up the last couple of achievements I need for Noblegarden. I also got the opportunity to tank for one of our newly leveled Priests. He told us he hadn't done much healing. We got 3 of our best DPSers and yours truly as a Tank and got him some gear upgrades in Violet Hold and Utgarde Pinnacle. Check tomorrow for a blog post on Block Rating and it's value to a Tankadin.

Egg Hunter

This weekend, I spent most of my time running around leveling up my Mining skill. I'm into Mithril now and will soon be whacking at Thorium. I'm making some decent coin from the ore, stone and gems that I'm getting. I ran a Heroic Culling of Stratholme last night as Retribution. I did alright, posting about 2.1k for the instance. The 1-shot zombies kind of skew the meters a bit in the instance. I was well behind a Rogue, who is one of the better geared DPS in the guild. I was neck and neck with a Mage. He managed to pass me when I got slept on the final boss. We did manage to get the optional boss down before the timer expired, but we had only seconds to spare. There were only two of us going for the mount, and let's just say Honorshammer finally has a sweet ride to replace his Roflcopter. I did promise to run it again to get the Mage I beat out on the roll the Drake. Other than that I was working hard on my Noblegarden achievements. I banged out the two dailies. One

No Love For Arena

We were feeling really good after downing Hodir, so we marched on over to Thorim. It was really cool that he tried to remember you from the quest chain in Storm Peaks. Then Sif showed up and ruined the show. Thing is, I thought Sif was dead? The fight starts with Thorim above you. You clear the first room with a Jormungar and some Hordies, then half your raid heads to the hallway to fight their way to Thorim while the rest of your raid stays in the Arena. I was the Tank in the Arena. Mobs constantly come out of the stands and engage you. Some are elites, some are non-elites. At first, I had everyone stack up on me and laid out a Consecrate. I don’t know what’s happened by Consecrate isn’t the threat magnet it used to be. We discovered one of the mobs Whirlwinded. That made stacking up sort of a bad idea. We went with me in the center and the others spread out around me. The first couple of elites that spawned, I’d handle okay, and they would go down quick. Then all these non-el

Son Of a Hodir

With the Antechamber cleared, we moved onto the Watchers and started clearing towards Hodir. If you haven’t explored the hallway to Hodir, let me give you a heads up. There are these little snow mounds dotted all along the path. If you get too close to one, it starts spawning about a dozen Jormungar Worms. These aren’t a problem in and of themselves, although new ones do tend to aggro to your healers. But say you discover these little mounds while you are fighting the Frost Giant and it can make it a little more difficult. We made our way through the trash and met up with Hodir. My Raid Leader and I had gone back and forth in a private discussion about using Frost Resist gear for Hodir. He gains a buff called Frozen Blows where he does very little physical damage but a whole lot of Frost damage. My thought had been having one of us in Frost Resist gear and the other in ‘normal’ tank gear and switch for Frozen Blows. He felt like our Death Knight Tank (who also happens to BE our Ra

Cat Woman

Only Auriaya remained the only undefeated boss in the Antechamber of Ulduar. We ported to the Shattered Walkway and walked down to where she was patting around with her two Sanctum Sentries. My Raid Leader has taken to calling her Cat Woman. The first thing we had to figure out was her trash. You get these two large Watcher looking guys. One of them will spawn a ball of pure energy, which will slowly move towards the other. If it isn’t destroyed before it gets there, the mob it touches gets a huge buff and will start one-shoting even geared tanks. What we learned quickly was that when one dies the other gets the buff. After mine went down, our Death Knight tank was destroyed. I ran over and taunted, blew my trinkets, Bubble Wall aka Divine Protection, pots, and Lay On Hands. Somehow we managed to kill it before I too was destroyed. When the next pack like this slapped us around and took our lunch money and made us thank them for it, we decided a new approach was needed. That’s

Stand By

I've got a couple of posts coming but I'm having trouble getting the screenshots up.

Town Hall For Hope This is a nationwide town hall meeting. Discover what’s happening with the economy, how we got here, where we’re going. Tonight at 8pm!

Siege of Ulduar (Part 2)

We were feeling pretty good at that point, so we doubled back to the Colossal Forge and began working on Ignis’ trash. I took the first Molten Colossi while my Death Knight kited the other one back towards Flame Levithan’s room. That worked well and we were able to down them both. They had left a DoT on the raid that jumped from member to member and made the rest of trash a bit more interesting. The Golem type mobs weren’t much of a problem. The Fire Revenants on the hand were interesting. They have an ability to summon a flame tornado that will go around the room. It knocks you up in the air and does a fair bit of damage. It didn’t hurt me too bad. We didn’t have any melee DPS so that wasn’t a problem. Most of our team ran away from them just like they should have. We finally cleared one side and we were all able to dip into the pools and remove the jumping debuff. My theory is that some developer watched the ‘fun’ people had with throwing Leather Balls around a raid and thought

Siege of Ulduar (Part 1)

Monday night, our Raid Team dove back into Ulduar. We were determined to finish what we started on Tuesday with XT-002. We had two people in the raid that weren’t there on Thursday. After quickly explaining the fight to them, we moved in on Deconstructor. I was once again in the Tank seat, keeping XT’s attention on my plated behind and away from the squishier raid members. The Developers had made a simple, yet impactful change since our last encounter with the XT. She would no longer cast Gravity Bombs and Light Bombs during Tympanic Tantrum. This change made healing easier during Tantrums and we were able to keep most everyone alive. Everyone that is, except me. I died about halfway through the attempt. Luck was on our side because just as I bit it, we pushed him in a Heart Phase. While the others poured massive DPS on the Heart and our Mage, Boomkin and Hunters covered the area with AoE, our Resto Druid gave me a Battle Rez. I was back up, buffed and running by the time XT beca

Miner, Miner, Fourty Niner

I farmed Gnomergran a couple of times and got the recipe for both the Pet Bombling and Lil Smokey. These had previously been rewards from a repeatable Engineering quest, that I never remembered to do. Now I have them both. With that piece of business, the last reason I was holding onto Engineering was fulfilled. I did discover that the Reagent and Repair guy in Ulduar despawned a little while after we killed Flame Leviathan, so repair bots are still pretty useful. However, we have two other Engineers in our Raid group. That means we have someone to drop repair bots and I'll only be skinning bosses about once a month. So I unlearned Engineering from Honorshammer. I'll miss my Gyrocopter. Maybe I'll get lucky and get Mimiron's Head at some point. I'm most happy to report that I can still access both my pets after I unlearned Engineering. Not that I've dropped it, I'm sure the Developers will buff it next patch to be an awesome profession, especially for tan

Razor's Edge

Heroes Inc Raid Team "Shooting Blanks" headed back into Ulduar last night. We set our sights on Razorgore Razorscale. Our kill order priority for the Adds was Iron Vyrkul to stop their Whirlwind. They seemed completely immune to CC and my Hammer of Justice was not able to interrupt the Whirlwind. If one of those guys didn't spawn, we wanted to get the Chain Lightning Dwarves down first. The melee adds were really of no concern to us. The fight seems to have a bit of RNG to it. If the same person gets targeted by a Chain Lightning as well as a Fireball from Razorgore it can be tough to heal them. Razorgore Razorscale, much like Flame Leviathan, is a very fun fight. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts, we were finally able to get him on the ground for good. Once you DPS him down to 50% health, he won't take off anymore. We had originally tried to wait until the Adds were dealt with to bring him down, but ultimately decided to just bring him down as soon as

Honors and Arthas: A Short Tale

A short story I wrote for Big Bear Butt's "Arthas: Rise of the Lich King " contest. I don't think I'll win, but it was fun to write. The assignment was to write a 5 minute encoutner between your character and Arthas. It also gave me a chance to look into Honors past a little bit, which is something I've wanted to do. Enjoy. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Hey, you in there, Honors?" The Draenei asked. Honors blinked twice and looked at his friend. He still wasn't quite sure what to make of these strangers from another world, but this Draenei and Honors had been through too much together to consider him anything but a close friend. "Yeah, I'm fine, Blue." Honors stroked his blonde beard that was beginning to show a stray gray hair or two in it now. He again looked over the Siege Engine at the Expedition Base Camp. "I cut my teeth in the Second War driving one

Born At Night

I've gotten 3 emails during the past week about an Account Investigation into my account. It took me about 3 nanoseconds to figure out they were phishing emails designed to steal my account information. No way, Jose. I was born at night, but not last night. Never click a link in an email sent to you. To use a real world example, my wife and I are planning a vacation to a well known amusement park this summer. We got an offer from said amusement park. But did I click on the link? No way, I have Divine Intellect in my build, fo'shizzle. I went to said companies website and found the offer there. You just can't be too careful these days. Of course what's really funny about the WoW phishing email is that they've sent all 3 to my honorshammer gmail account. Well my Warcraft account isn't tied to that email. As far as I know, Blizzard account services doesn't even know nor care it exists. I have a completely different and unpublished email attached to my Blizz

The Secrets of Ulduar!

Altar of Storms was actually one of the first realms to come up last night. I was greeted by a que of over 7000. We have never had ques on Altar of Storms, so that was quite a shock. I had intended on logging Honorshammer out in Ironforge, but he was in Dalaran. A quick portal solved that problem. When you portal from Dalaran to Ironforge, you land in the Mystics Ward, which conveniently enough is where you’ll find the Paladin trainer. It felt like every Paladin I knew on Altar of Storms was in this room. I’m sure the Cathedral of Light was similarly busy. The first order of business was to purchase my Dual Spec. I plopped down my 1000g and got an achievement, cool. I really like the way Dual Specs ended up. The interface makes sense and after only a minute or two I was comfortable in my two specs. The auction house showed most Glyphs were still about the same price as pre-patch, but I had a nearly full set of Glyphs already purchased. The new Glyphs however, like Glyph of Div

3.1 Action Plan

So 3.1 is dropping today, so we need to prepare for the major tasks tonight. Assuming the servers are up and running, which is no small assumption on patch day, my first order of business will be to get Honorshammer to Ironforge and the Paladin trainer. There I will lay down the 1000 gold and get Dual Spec. I'm very excited. Of course, all my talent points will have been refunded, so I'll need to respec. (Props to the staff at WoWhead for keeping it up on Patch Day!) Tank Spec: 13/52/6 This will be the initial spec I try out in Ulduar. This spec dives into Holy for the new Aura Mastery talent, and also grabs Improved Lay On Hands. It's a build that looks for survivability, and tries to give the Paladin a couple of extra buttons for Oh No! moments. We'll see how it works out. Then I'll need to get over the Lexicon of Power and redo my Glyphs. My planned Glyph loadout (assuming I can find a Scribe with the new Glyphs) will be: Major: Glyph of Divine P

Thank You, Dave

With the Holiday weekend, I missed the news of the passing of Dave Arneson . My condolences to the Arneson family on their loss. Mr. Arneson was the co-creator of the table top Role Playing Game, Dungeons and Dragons. D&D was a big part of my early life and it's really how I got into gaming. Today, I don't play D&D anymore. WoW is about the closest thing. Thank you for your creation, Mr. Arneson.

Happy Easter

This post has nothing to do with Paladins or even WoW. Continue reading at your own risk. I wish everyone a very happy Easter. This holiday, even more so than Christmas, remember the true reason for the season. Hope. We've heard much talk about hope since January. "Where is the hope? I meet millions of people who feel demoralized by the decay around us. The hope that each of us has is not in who governs us, or what laws we pass, or what great things we do as a nation. Our hope is in the power of God working through the hearts of people. And that's where our hope is in this country. And that's where our hope is in life." - Charles Colson Discover the same hope that I have. The hope of a Saviour and a King who loves you and died for you and whose resurrection we celebrate this Easter day. He is Risen! He is Risen, indeed! We'll return to your regularly scheduled Paladin blogging on Monday.

Talent Specialization for 3.1

It looks like the changes part of the current PTR is passed, so it’s probably safe to start thinking about your specs. This is my favorite time to be working on specs because the ‘cookie cutter’ builds aren’t really defined yet. It’s a great time to start experimenting and trying to find what works for you. This patch will introduce dual specs and most of you are probably planning on having them. 2nd Spec: Holy or Retribution? My plan is to go Protection (main) and Retribution (secondary). Fights in Ulduar will vary the number of tanks needed. Some fights don’t even require a tank (Flame Leviathan). There are single tank fights like Hodir, and fights that need two tanks like Auriaya. Some fights may call for as many as 3 tanks such as Ignis, Freya, and Iron Council. I’m sure there will be a way to do those 3 tank fights with just two tanks in a 10 man. Well, there better be. My raid leader does a fantastic job of rotating tanks through so each tank gets a chance to experience t

Oops, I Did It Again

Sunday night, I kept banging out quests. I’ve been following a quest guide that takes you from Borean Tundra to Howling Fjord, then to Dragonblight, and onto part of Grizzly Hills before sending you into Zul’Drak. Finally late Sunday night, I finished the course and crossed the finished line of my second level 80 toon. My Hunter is something of an ironic toon. I rolled him because I was dropping Mining on Honorshammer to pick up Engineering about midway through the Burning Crusade. My guild wasn’t anywhere close to being able to do Tier 5 content, so the Goggles were extremely attractive, and I wanted the ROFLcopter. I knew Hunter’s reputation for being a fast leveler, but something happened along the way. I really began to have fun with him. I’m looking at a 2/18/51 spec for him. As soon as I hit 80, I jumped on a bird and headed to Dalaran. My ultimate destination was going to be Exodar to train my level 80 skills. I stopped by the mailbox where I had 3 pieces of gear waiting

Patch Work (Patch 3.1 Preview)

We know Patch 3.1 is getting close and most everyone expects it to be live before the end of the month. I’m personally really excited about the additional content being added. I can’t wait to raid the new instance with my team. The solo/small group element being added in the Argent Tournament promises to suck down much of my off nights. Honorshammer of Ironforge, I like the sound of that. I would think that if you are the kind of person who reads blogs, you are also the kind of person who reads other sites like mmo-champion, and you are probably up to speed on the most of what’s going on in the new patch, but let me give you my take. Let’s look at the Paladin specific changes. Spiritual Attunement: Removed from trainers. It is now available deep in the Protection tree for 2 ranks at 5/10%. Let’s start off with the big one. Tankadins will be the only spec of Paladin to have Spiritual Attunement. There has been some discussion among the theorycrafters that Tankadins might be

Opportunity Cost

I got a fantastic email from someone, we'll call him Dave, regarding my profession conundrum. You specifically mention farming low level dungeons for greens to DE to skill up enchanting. Its a common mis-conception but this is not "free" materials. Likewise if you mine your own ore for JC the materials there are not "free" either. If you can get cash in any other way that is faster than this then mining is NOT a money making profession, it is in fact a money LOSING profession. It is my experience that just doing dailies is better cash/time than mining/herbalism and therefore Mining is note "Excellent" at gold making, it is horrible. Quite literally the only reason to have mining is for smelting and on an alt this works just fine. If you need mats to skill up, check what they cost, figure out how long it would take you to farm them, and then figure out what your gold rate per hour doing dailies is. 99% of the time farming them is a money loser