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Showing posts from May, 2009

Paladin Vocabulary (Introduction)

One area that has always impressed me about World of Warcraft is the way the Developers created a true sense of character to each class. One of the tools they used to accomplish this was in creating what I like to refer to as the vocabulary of the class. In the skill, talent and spell names, you’ll see certain words and phrases repeating themselves over and over again reinforcing in the reader’s mind what that class are all about. Let me give you one example. Cheap Shot, Ambush, Cold Blood, Dirty Deeds, Dirty Tricks, Honor Among Thieves, Kidney Shot, Malice, Master of Deception, Murder, Mutilate, Prey On The Weak, Ruthlessness, Surprise Attacks, Unfair Advantage. Even if you never played a Rogue or even World of Warcraft, the meanings and connotations of those words and phrases would give you a really strong impression of what the Rogue class was all about. You would expect a sneaky thug who didn't want to 'fight fair'. That's the essence of a Rogue. In talking

I'm All The Rage

Wednesday is usually my night off WoW, but my wife wasn’t feeling well, so after I tucked her in, I went downstairs and started futzing around on my Warrior Alt. He was originally an insurance policy against the Developers taking Protection Paladins in a direction I didn’t like. After that didn’t appear to be the case, he became my disenchanter. I’d send him greens that I got, he would blow them up and I wouldn’t have to hassle a very kind mage friend of mine. He’s 74, but still knocking out quests in Howling Fjord after getting the Achievement for Borean Tundra. Heirloom Shoulders, plus plenty of rested experience means you level past the zone much faster than the developers first planned. Even though this is my third time to the level cap, I’m still finding bits of the story that I missed or glossed over the first two times. It’s like reading a good book again or seeing a good movie again. Each time up is enjoyable. It's also fun knowing their is an upgrade for my toon at t

Unbreak My Heart: XT-002 Hard Mode

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Tuesday night we got started late waiting for our Raid Team to assemble. We had to 9 man Flame Levithan, then our Mage logged in and we had our full 10 man team. We decided to go for XT Hard Mode. We ran a matrix of one tank, 2 healers, and 7 DPS. Our Tank was a Protection Paladin. Our Healers were a Resto Druid and Disc Priest. With as much movement as fights in Ulduar require, I've found that to be a pretty solid healing combo. Plus, Penance looks cool, it just does. In order to activate XT's Hard Mode, you have to kill the Heart when it drops down. DPS XT to 75% to initiate the first Heart Phase. We actually didn't kill the Heart our first attempt. We stopped had our Healers stop Healing and decided to try again. It's amazing how effective that strategy is for wiping a raid. Next attempt, we got him to 75%. I popped my Wings (that's Paladin talk for cast Avenging Wrath) and we all went to town. The Heart 'broke' just milliseconds befo

Burn Baby Burn

I moved my Feed from Atom to Feedburner. Please update your readers. Danke!

Shaking the Foundations

The Lead Developer for World of Warcraft, Ghostcrawler, has been posting quite a bit recently concerning the Block Mechanic. Block is a core part of how Paladins and Warriors tank. A lot of the tank balance problems we are having exist because we thought block would be a better mitigation stat than it has turned out to be. I say "we" because the druids and DKs were also convinced at the time that they would be mana-sponges and everyone was quoting "The unblocked hit is the new crushing blow." For a variety of reasons, reality didn't work out that way. For one, we underestimated how much removing crushing blows would change the landscape. In fact, you can argue that the big magic hits (the dragon breaths and plasma blasts) are really the new crushing blows, and block does nothing to them (modulo 4 piece bonuses and the like). DKs were given amazing cooldowns, high armor and high avoidance to make up for them not being able to block. Druids were given even hig

Truth Hurts

Our stance hasn't changed since Lich King. Originally (pre-LK) we tried to keep hybrid specs at 40% or more behind the pure damage-dealers, but then we also treated warriors as pure damage-dealers. If you really know your class, and I mean really know it, and if you have good gear, the right buffs, and a group that backs you up, then you are fully capable of topping the damage meters on certain fights. Overall we do want to make sure the pure dps classes are slightly higher when all things are equal, otherwise there is no point to those entire classes existing. Do warriors beat mages on some fights? Absolutely. What's the issue?I'm not sure what you're getting at with that last part. Ret paladins were not a serious raiding option for many players pre-LK. Now they certainly are. - Developer Ghostcrawler ( Source ) I'd like to concentrate on his first sentence. This bothers me on a couple of levels. First off, I'm pretty upset that this design wasn't commun

Epic Mimiron Fight

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Last night, I logged on just moments before the raid was supposed to start. I had been at a planning meeting for our Vacation Bible School where I’ll be leading the 1st and 2nd graders class. Even if you aren’t a Christian, I recommend you let your kids go to Vacation Bible School. The kids have a blast and you get a couple of hours to yourself. Look for a Church using the Boomerang Express Theme. That’s what we’re using and the curriculum is pretty good. Anyway, we had had a really good run on Tuesday, and we were starting on Mimiron Thursday night. Our group was a little more melee heavy than normal. Our DPS team is mostly ranged consisting of a Mage, a Shadow Priest, two Hunters, a Boomkin and an Elemental Shaman. Some nights, it’s just Ellevis (Death Knight/Raid Leader) and me in melee range of the boss. Last night our DPS team was Ofn (a Rogue), Absoloot (an Arms Warrior), Origami (a Feral Druid), Bluetide (said Elemental Shaman) and Bandaidez (said Shadow Priest). We a

XT-002 Positioning

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In preparation for defeating XT-002 on ‘Hard Mode’ we’ve made a change to the positioning of the Boss. Most strategies and groups tend to tank XT-002 at the base of the stairs in the back center of the room. We’ve moved our tank spot to between the two junk piles on the left hand side of the room as you walk in. When you position XT here, you get the benefit of not having to deal with adds from the two closest junk piles. Adds only spawn from the two junk piles on the left hand side of the room. This creates a very long path for the mobs to travel to reach XT-002 and gives our AoE DPS plenty of time to take out the Repair bots. It also gives our tanks plenty of time to pick up the Assault Bots. This last attempt we decided to try making it a single tank fight. With our Raid DPS, XT tends to spend very little time out of the‘Heart’ mode. He doesn’t melee while the Heart is exposed so the damage intake to the Main Tank is minimal. We had our Main Tank (who was your humble author t

The Future of Engineering

The latest blow to Engineers has come from the Developers. Rocket Boots will no longer work in Arenas . I think this is a precursor to a big announcement, possibly at Blizzcon about Engineering. Remember that here at Honor’s Code, “All Predictions Are Wrong or Your Money Back”. *Honor’s Code is technically free, so if I actually ever got one right, I’d owe you….well... nothing, so you get the point. Honors Engineering History Let me give you a brief synopsis of my history with Engineering and then let me tell you where I think the Developers are going with this. I dropped Engineering about a week after 3.1 hit and I’ve been working on leveling up Mining on Honorshammer. This was the second time I’d dropped the profession. When I leveled Honorshammer during Vanilla WoW, Engineering was fantastic. It provided my Paladin with the one thing he truly lacked, a ranged pull. As a Paladin in those days, you got very familiar with how to body pull. Once I hit the level cap at 60, I

Hello Yoggy

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Monday night we headed back in Ulduar. We had actually gotten a group together Saturday night, but something came up in ‘real life’ and I had to bail on it. Luckily, our Feral was on and they were able to continue the run without me. Unfortunately, they didn’t get any bosses down on Saturday, so we were faced with Mimiron, and General for Monday. As we head down to the Spark of Imagination, my Raid Leader announces some changes to the strategy. He wants me tanking Phase 1 and Phase 4. I’ll also be tanking all the Junk Bots and Assault Bots in Phase 3. I was a little concerned about Phase 1 because as a group we were a little short in the cooldown area. I’m very thankful that the Developers have realized the cooldown issue Paladins have and recently communicated via everyone’s favorite crab that Paladin’s will be getting another one. All we had for Phase 1 was my BubbleWall and Pain Suppression. I also had the Glyph of Salvation which I saved for the third Plasma Blast if

Good and Evil, a Potent Combination

With the advent of Dual Specs, I’ve decided to jump into PVP in Season 6. I avoided Season 5 entirely. Part of this was because of the punitive nature of the system. You lose points until you came down to your rating. Plus all the PVP gear had Arena rating requirements on it, so you had to Arena to get Arena gear to do Arena. But the major reason I avoided PVP in Season 5 was the hassle of specing back and forth between Tank and PVP, plus the necessary glyph changes. It became cost prohibitive and just wasn’t fun. Now with Dual Spec, it’s simple to switch from Tank to PVP spec and I can do it multiple times a night. I saw on the Guild Forums that one of the Warlocks in my guild was looking for an Arena partner. He’s Haunt spec. I volunteered my services as a Retribution Paladin. I had a ton of Honor saved up. Since I wasn’t PVPing I didn’t see any need to spend it, and I had gotten plenty doing Wintergrasp from time to time. In addition, I was beginning to accumulate Emblems

Boy Blunder

Tuesday meant a new reset and our team threw itself a new at Ulduar. Our raid leader announced that we weren’t actually the first guild to down General Vezax. Apparently, the guild DCL had beaten us by a couple of hours, so gratz to them. It would have been cool to have gotten a server first, but no one in the raid was really all that worried about it. We knocked over Flame Leviathan and XT-002 in short order. XT dropped a Plate DPS chest. When our Arms Warrior said he didn’t need it, our Raid Leader asked me if I wanted it. I had done a fairly detailed comparison of all the tanking gear in Ulduar and knew what I needed and what I didn’t. I hadn’t done an analysis of the DPS gear. I wasn’t sure it was an upgrade or not, but he gave it to me anyway. We marched our way down to Kologarn. Not long into the fight, I could sense something was wrong. My health was jumping around like crazy. I did a quick check and saw that yes, I did have Righteous Fury up. Then I saw a Crit for ove

Blood Draining For a Paladin

When Ulduar was released, two new ‘tank’ enchants were released with it. These were Blade Warding and Blood Draining. Both are drops from various 25 man bosses in Ulduar. While both enchants are still very new, the intial feedback from the community has been that these enchants are rather lackluster. The Developers wanted to avoid having an enchant every tank felt they must have like 50 stamina, so we get two very expensive enchants that don’t give you the bang for your buck. Blood Draining - Permanently enchants your weapon to sometimes grant Blood Reserve when striking an enemy or inflicting damage with bleed attacks. When you fall below 35% health, Blood Reserve restores 360 to 440 health. Lasts 20 sec and stacks up to 5 times. Blood Draining will work out to about a 2k heal when you health drops below 35%. This has long been thought to be a poor enchant for Tankadins because of the negative synergy with Ardent Defender. The fear was that the enchant would proc and take you j

Guest Post on Matticus

Today's Honor's Code will appear as a Guest Post on World of Matticus. " Hybrid it up on General Vezax "

No Mana For You! One Fight!

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Monday night we were going for progression on General Vezax. We decided to change our matrix to 1 tank, 3 healers and 6 DPS. We had our Death Knight tanking General Vezax which meant I was laying wood as Retribution. Why have the Death Knight tank? Well one of General’s big moves is called Surge of Darkness. It basically doubles the damage the General does with all attacks. It’s on a 1 minute cooldown. IceBound Fortitude is also on a one minute cooldown. If you are like me and fairly clueless about Death Knight mechanics let me tell you what that does. Icebound Fortitude reduces all damage taken by 20% plus additional damage reduction based on Defense for 12 sec. With 540 Defense, it’s about 35% reduction. ( Source ) That meant that every time Vezax got all high on Black Blood (gained Surge of Darkness), our Death Knight could pop Icebound Fortitude. Plus we had the added advantage of his threat resource not being mana. After researching on the Maintankadin boards, it seemed

Dear Mimiron, I Loot You

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Our next raid we went in with a single purpose kick Mimiron’s can instead of him kicking ours. Our warm up was Thorim. I remember this guy being a problem for our group, I really do. Ever since the Arena team figured out the Arena part, he’s been pretty easy to knock over. Our raid seems to get a propensity of loves Rogue, Death Knight, Mage, Druid tokens. I understand that the token has a slightly higher drop rate due to serving 4 classes as opposed to just 3. I’m sure other raids are tired of their Priest, Paladin, Warlock tokens, but I’m betting you’d have to read a Warrior or Death Knight Blog to see it. With our ‘2’ keys properly broken in, we headed off to face Mimiron. The trash wasn’t quite so bad this time around. I’m not sure if it was because of the nerfs to Sappers or that we were just more familiar with the pulls. I found that the Spider Robot that you can jump in once it’s defeated is great for taking out the Ice Turrets that the drivers build when they jump out

Dear Mimiron, I Hate You

We smashed our way through Flame Leviathan, XT-002, and Kologarn Tuesday night. After 3 weeks of Tank duty, I asked for a shot to ride the Motorcycles. They were cool, but I think the Tanks suit me better. Maybe I’ll try a Demo next week. My Raid Leader had discovered a better positioning to use on XT-002. Previously, we had been tanking him at the base the stairs. This time we positioned him in between the two junk piles on the right hand side of the room. With him there, we didn’t have any Adds spawn from those points. We wanted to practice him in this new position for when we do Hard Modes. The plan is to get a clear (kill all the bosses) and then start working on Hard Modes. We are getting better and cleaner on all our kills. Auryia was a two shot. We had a couple of new people on Freya so it took one attempt for our DPS to learn how to manage the Add pack with the Elemental and the two Flowers that all have to die at the same time. I had a ‘Real Life’ issue come up and was

My Day With Mr. Hammer

Mr. Hammer is a nice dwarf, with a funny name. My day with Mr. Hammer started by going to see the spooky Lighthouse the Matron had told us about. I saw a real live ghost pirate. That was too cool. Then I asked Mr. Hammer if he would take me to see the big dam the Dwarves built. Mr. Hammer is a nice Dwarf. He took me to see the dam. It’s bigger than anything and huge! I wanted to go see the Bear tree thing in the Night Elf city but it was very far away. Mr. Hammer just smiled and took out a special stone from his bag. The next thing I know we are in this big city in the clouds. He made me a chocolate cake, a cupcake and bought me candy. Mr. Hammer is really nice. Then he took me to a room with all these pretty pictures. We touched the pretty picture of the Night Elf city and we were really there! The Bear tree looked very cool. I had never seen anything like that before ever. Then I was hungry. Mr. Hammer took me on a boat to Stormwind and bought me some Ice Cream. I liked M

The Watchers

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Hodir For about a week or so, we’ve been banging our head against Thorim. We went in Tuesday night and plowed right through Flame Leviathan, XT-002, Razorscale, and Kologarn. It took a couple of attempts, be we managed to put down Auriya again as well. We two shot Hodir, but I spent the last half of the fight doing a detailed examination of Hodir’s cold hard floor. I was DPS for that fight and made one of the classic blunders. No, it wasn’t starting a land war in Asia, or did I go up against a Sicilian when death was on the line. We were fighting Hodir and it was time for Flash Freeze. I noticed that the glyph for where the big snowball would fall was basically right underneath him. I kept whacking away at his backside. The snowballs fell and my brain uttered those fateful words “Probably got time for one more swing…” FLASH FREEZE! I’m now DUG (Dwarf Under Glass). Our DPS Warrior valiantly tried to bust me out, but I died before he could. We downed Hodir anyway. He dropped a C