Showing posts from June, 2009

Spending Conquest Badges as a 10 Man Raider

I hope no one has the delusion that just because I write a blog I have everything figured out. I don't. I read alot, but still struggle with decisions all the time. My current pondering is what to do with my Emblems of Conquest. As you may know, my guild raids 10 mans only. We've gotten some Conquest through Emalon PuGs, but the Alliance having Wintergrasp is a rare occasion on my server. Then you have to hope you luck into a decent PuG that can down him, even nerfed. Most of our Emblems of Conquest come through various Hard Modes we do. But sometimes we don't get the right people on for Hard Modes and can't do them. I'm not complaining mind you. I'm just trying to explain that that for my entire raid group the Conquests badges don't come quickly. I've currently got 19 EoC, exactly enough to buy the neck piece : . BUT I could also save up for Tier Pieces I'll likely never see like

[Patch 3.2] Quick Thoughs on Changes in New Build

AD Changed on the PTR Ardent Defender: Redesigned. Any damage that takes the paladin below 35% health or below is reduced. This reduction applies only to the portion that pushes the paladin below 35% health (example: a paladin at 50% health takes a 40% hit; the first 15% hits as normal while the next 25% is reduced). In addition, once every 2 minutes an attack that would have killed the paladin will fail to kill, and instead set the paladin's health to 10/20/30% of maximum. When I first heard the change, my initial reaction was ‘QQ got it nerfed’. But anyone who looked at the first pass of AD knew it couldn't and wouldn’t make it live like that. You can't really say something has been nerfed when it's still going to be better than what's on live now. The new AD will be a buff to Paladin tanks. The current form on the PTR is hopefully balanced enough to make it to Live. I've never wanted Paladins to be overpowered tanks, just appoximately equal tanks. But come o

Mergers and Acquisitions

I’ve written more about guilds on these pages than I ever intended to. I’ll be the first to admit that I guild hopped in Burning Crusade, chasing the Siren of Progression, but I abandoned that quest in Wrath and hoped to settle into a guild and really make it my home. Thus early in Wrath I returned to Mal Katai. Then in mid February, Mal Katai split. I had to figure out what to do. I hadn’t left the guild, the guild had left me. I was either going to go to SalVation, one of the guilds spawned from Mal Katai split, or I was going to go to Heroes Inc, which had been the guild I transferred to Altar of Storms to join just before the release of Burning Crusade. For about two weeks I mulled over my options. I ultimately ended up joining Heroes Inc and got in with their progression raid team as a Tank. That decision worked out really well. I found the camaraderie and skill of our tight 10 man progression team to be the way I best enjoyed experiencing the game. We attacked Ulduar the ni

Using Sacred Shield As A Paladin Tank

Sacred Shield is the spell all Paladins receive upon achieving Level 80. Sacred Shield Rank 1 12% of base mana 40 yd range Instant cast Each time the target takes damage they gain a Sacred Shield, absorbing 500 damage and increasing the paladin's chance to critically hit with Flash of Light by 50% for up to 6 sec. They cannot gain this effect more than once every 6 sec. Lasts 30 sec. This spell cannot be on more than one target at any one time. We know that Sacred Shield absorbs 500 damage + some additional amount based primarily on your spell power. In my tanking gear and casting Sacred Shield on myself, I’m able to absorb about 900 damage. A Holy Paladin is going to have more spellpower and will be able to absorb more with Sacred Shield. You can increase the amount absorbed with Divine Guardian, which I don’t have in my build at the moment in favor of Improved Hammer of Justice. So the question is how a Paladin tank should use this tool in his toolkit to better perform his

I Could Say That This Cache Is Rare

I’ve copied over to the PTR, but we we’ve been raiding so I haven’t actually gotten over there yet. I really want to because I’d like to play with Ardent Defender and the new Seal of Vengeance a bit. I know that Ardent Defender will not make it live so I want a shot at playing with it. We’ve started working our way through the Hard modes in Ulduar. I love how we can ramp up the difficulty and find something that works for our raid group. We can choose the level up risk versus reward. We’ve knocked out FL+4 (although I wasn’t there, I’m sure we’ll do it again). We’ve taken care of XT-Hard, Crazy Cat Lady (don’t kill the Kittens on Auryia) and Steelbreaker Last. So last night we start learning Hodir Hard. Hodir Hard is not terribly different from normal from a Tank perspective since the requirement is just a fast kill. You basically do the same things you do when fighting normally, but you really have to ramp up your threat production to the maximum level. Healers can really burn t

[Patch 3.2] PTR Up, Ardent Defender Mechanics Discovered

With the PTR up, the mechanics of the new AD have been discovered and some of my questions answered. Now keep in mind, this is the first iteration of the PTR, it is almost certain what we get as the Live version will be different in some way. Here’s what was learned by Maintankadin moderator, Modus aka moduspwnens . It reduces damage by 30%. We saw this from the actual patch notes. The Damage reduction is staying at 30%. It reduces the entire hit that takes you below 35% by 30%. This was one of the big questions I had, and now that I think about it, it makes sense. Having only work on the part of the hit that took you under 35% could still make it leapfroggable. It also reduces hits taken afterward (from below 35% to also below 35%). This is logical. If it reduces hits above 35%, it would seem to follow that it also reduces hit under 35%. That’s basically exactly what AD does today on live. It doesn’t work on fall damage. Yes, Modus jumped off a cliff. He still died.

Desprerate Measures

Be Advised: this post is not releated to World of Warcraft in any way. We interrupt this Paladin blog to bring you a message from the man behind the keyboard. Hi. I'm the guy you know online as Honorshammer, and I'm asking for your help. The company that I work for just found out that we lost our biggest contract. This is generally considered a Bad Thing. We need to find new customers before the end of the year, or more Bad Things will start happening like layoffs or possibly even worse. This sort of has me bummed out. I've been wracking my brain trying to think of anything I can do. I like my job, and I like the people I work for. I really don't want to be looking for a new job anytime soon. I'm not a Sales or Marketing guy. That's not my gig. I write code, I dissect processes, I think in object models. These are desperate times, they call for desperate measures. What follows here is a basic idea of what my company does. What I'm hoping is that

Shared Topic: Situational Awareness, or Driving The Tank

This week Blog Azeroth's Shared Topic is "Situational Awareness in Raids". Lissanna writes "I thought it would be neat to see how all the classes (even tanks and DPS) handle the multi-tasking that is required during raids. Do tanks and DPS sometimes have tunnel vision and forget to watch for the AOE effects or whatever they need to move out of? How do other healers deal with avoiding the tunnel vision problem?" You have to do a ton of multi-tasking as a Tank. As I'm tanking a Boss, my tasks are: § Make sure the boss if properly position (don't get the melee dps cleaved, dragon breathed, etc) § Keep track of the Threat meter § Watch my own health and mana reserves § Make sure I have the proper buffs up (Holy Shield, Divine Plea, Sacred Shield, Righteous Fury, Seal, Blessing are all on timers) § Watch for special moves the boss does (Plasma Blast, Frozen Blows, etc) § Watch the Deadly Boss Mod timers/warnings § Keep track of my next panic bu

How Much DPS Do You Do?

I received a tell from a Rogue buddy of mine from my T6 days in Dominion. He was helping his guild (not Dominion anymore) put together a weekend Naxx25. I had previously mentioned to him I'd love to go on one of my alts if they needed people. I thought about the Warrior briefly but decided against it. He has only had a couple of pieces crafted so far. The Titansteel Mace, and Titansteel DPS helm for his DPS set, and the Titansteel ShieldWall, Titansteel Tank Helm, Daunting Legguards and Daunting Legplates for his Tank set. Mostly we was still in quested blues and greens. The group would really have had to carry him. The other issue against the Warrior was the raid was stacked with melee dps and plate. Just one of ther Warrior but 2 or 3 Death Knights and 4 or 5 Paladins. We were actually a little light on Ranged DPS. So I brought the Hunter out of mothballs. Granted, he's not all that well geared either, but he does have mostly ilevel 200 gear. The run was mostly a guild ru

[Patch 3.2] Joining The Emblem Debate

Any dungeons that previously dropped Emblems of Heroism or Valor, such as Naxxramas or Heroic Halls of Stone, will now drop Emblems of Conquest instead. Emblems of Conquest can still be converted to Valor or Heroism.o The heroic dungeon daily quest will now reward 2 Emblems of Triumph and the normal daily dungeon quest will reward 1 Emblem of Triumph. The existing achievements to collect 1, 25, 50, etc. Emblems of Heroism, Valor, and Conquest have been converted to Feats of Strength since Heroism and Valor Emblems are no longer attainable. New achievements have been added to collect various amounts of any combination of emblems. So everything that is currently in game, except Ulduar25, will drop the same Emblem. The tiered emblem system is officially being scrapped. I’m really torn about this change. It opens up an entire segment of gear that was previously unavailable to me. We were just starting to get some Emblems in Conquest in our Raids as we did Hard Modes, but not very many. N

[Patch 3.2] Block Change Gets a /yawn

Let’s talk about another change from the PTR that’s coming our way. The Developers have acknowledged they aren’t ready to make major changes to Block just yet, but they are putting in a temporary solution of increasing the block value we get from items, but not from shields. Here’s the official word: Block Value: The amount of bonus block value on all items has been doubled. This does not affect the base block value on shields or block value derived from strength. On-Use Block Value Items: All items and set bonuses that trigger temporary increases to block value have been modified. Instead of increasing their block value amount by 100% like other items, they have all had their effect durations doubled. This applies to Glyph of Deflection, Gnomeregan Autoblocker, Coren's Lucky Coin, Lavanthor's Talisman, Libram of Obstruction, Tome of the Lightbringer, Libram of the Sacred Shield, the tier 8 paladin Shield of Righteousness bonus, the tier 5 paladin Holy Shield bonus, and the ti

[Patch 3.2] Can't Kill This

I think like most of you I’m still trying to digest the Patch 3.2 notes. I’m going to assume you’ve read them, and not repost them all here. We don’t have a PTR yet, so much of my initial reaction is speculation. We also know that much of the patch notes can and will change over the course of the PTR. So let’s dive right in with the big news, the change to Ardent Defender. Ardent Defender: Redesigned. Currently, any damage taken by the paladin while at 35% health or below is reduced. Instead, any attack that would reduce the paladin to 35% health or below has its damage reduced. In addition, once every 2 minutes an attack that would have killed the paladin will fail to kill, and instead set the paladin's health to 10/20/30% of maximum. I am greatly concerned that so many people look at the buffs to Paladins and immediately think we are going to be overpowered without looking at the whole picture. They see that our new Ardent Defender looks similar to the Blood Death Knight

The Twin Brothers: Warriors and Paladins

(Edit: As this post was 'going to press' some big, huge news broke in the Paladin world. I'll have my post on it tomorrow!) So the Warrior hit 80 last night. I'd have a screen shot but my game froze up just as he hit it and I couldn't log back into him. I find it remarkable how similar the Warrior is to my Paladin. Gear As my Warrior gears up, I’m looking for the exact same gear on him that I wanted on my Paladin when I was gearing him up many moons ago. About the only difference is that I care more about Expertise on the Warrior than I do on the Paladin. The main stats I want, Stamina, Armor, Defense, Dodge, Parry, Strength and Hit, don’t change at all. Block Value, and Block Rating are about equally (un)desirable between the two classes. To be fair, I think that Death Knights go after pretty much the same gear as well sans the block stuff, but for my own ignorance of their mechanics, I won’t be commenting on them. Threat One of the pervasive myths in t

Back To Basics: The 969 Paladin Threat Rotation

Protection Paladins are one of the last classes in WoW that still have a Rinse and Repeat rotation known affectionately as 969. The 969 rotation was discovered in Wrath of the Lich King Beta by Psiven who then taught it to the rest of the community via Maintankadin. It begins by recognizing that the main Protection Paladin threat moves all come in varieties of 8 to 9 second cooldowns and 6 second cooldowns. We treat the 8 second cooldown moves as 9 seconds to better fit with a 1.5 second global cooldown. The 9s are Judgment (talented), Consecrate and Holy Shield. The 6s are Hammer of the Righteous and Shield of Righteousness. The 9 second and 6 second cooldowns are rotated and alternated. With a 1.5 second global cooldown, this all fits together into a fairly tight rotation. The way this works in practice is that you lead off your threat rotation with a 9 second talented cooldown Judgment. This is the opening spell because it puts your Judgements of the Just debuff on the mob whi

The Uphill Battle of the Fresh 80 Tank

Wrath has been out about 7 or 8 months now. Some players are just now reaching level 80. Whether it’s an alt, or someone who is new to the game, it can be rough on these fresh 80s, especially if they are tanks. Tank is probably the toughest role to be under geared at, followed closely by a Healer. You can get away as an under geared DPS a little easier simply because even in a 5 man, there are other DPS players to help take up the slack. Now an over geared tank can do wonders for a under geared healer, and vice versa, an overgeared healer can do wonders for an under geared tank, but even an over geared healer isn’t going to be able to make up for a tank that gets one shot. A fresh level 80 Warrior or Paladin is going to be sporting about 18-20k unbuffed. I hate to break it to you, but there are well geared mages who can hit that. A new tank needs gear and Reputation and the fastest route to both is in Heroics. But even getting in Heroics can be difficult for a new tank. Because

Twisted Nether Blogcast

Episode 47 of the Twisted Nether blogcast is up on their webpage. You can listen to their interview with me.

Shared Topic : Healer Preference

This week’s Blog Azeroth Shared Topic was suggested by Nigiri from Adventures of a Priest Nigiri asks: “I would love to read blogger’s thoughts on who they like to have heal them. Would you prefere a Holy priest or a Disc priest? A Holy pally or a Resto druid. Shammy maybe? As a disc healer, I know how I feel about my healing. How do you feel about who’s healing you? As a Tank, what I value most in a healer is the trust and bond we’ve developed raiding together. It’s the player behind the keyboard that is much more important to me than the color of their raid bar. I feel like any of our Healers, and we have just about every healing class represented in our core, is fully capable of keeping me upright. I’m always a little nervous when there’s a new healer, regardless of class, is charged with keeping me alive. With our veteran healers, I know I’m in good hands. What we try to do to keep healing assignments fairly consistent from Raid to Raid. We usually put our Disc Priest on

Heroic Split

For a second time, I’ve had to watch my guild split in two. Heroes Inc had its parting of the ways sometime midday. A formal breaking down into two separate guilds only publicly acknowledges what has been the actual situation for a while now. Heroes Inc has operated two Raid Teams for most of Wrath. The Rock of Heroes Inc was ‘scored’ and a line of separation created. Since I wasn’t in the guild at the time the two teams were formed, I’m not sure how the process went, but from what I infer, the teams were selected based on how each person wanted to do PVE, and how quickly people reached the new level cap. One team was looking to get to the level cap and start working on Naxx post haste. Let’s call them Team One. The other team was taking a more relaxed approach. Let’s call them Team Alpha. Team One wanted to raid 3 nights a week, Team Alpha only wanted to raid two nights a week. Team One wanted to be ready to hit Ulduar the night it opened. Team Alpha wasn’t worried about it, a

Honorshammer's Challenge! (Ret PVP Nerf)

“I don’t watch the News anymore; I think it makes me a happier person” – Honorshammer “Ret Nerfed again!” “Ret PVP is dead!” “Okay, which one of you pwned some poor GM so he had us nerfed?” “Reroll DK if you want to Arena as DPS, reroll Druid or Priest if you want to heal, or just roll Rogue/Mage/Priest and faceroll your way to Gladiator.” “Do you really need any more proof after this, anyone can see it cleary, Blizzard hates Paladins!” These are just some of the comments that have filled the forums since the announcement of the nerf to Vindication. For those not aware, here’s the official word from the Developers: “We are in the process of completing a hotfix that could go live as early as this afternoon that will make the Paladin talent Vindication no longer reduce Intelligence or Stamina from the target it is applied to. The talent will continue to reduce Agility, Spirit, and Strength as it currently does. We felt this change will help balance the ability out, especially in the l

PVP Upgrades Planning

With the success of my 3s team, I’m starting to get to a point I never have previously have gotten to before in WoW. I’m actually starting to qualify for PVP rated gear. I’ve noticed there’s much less information on PVP than PVE. I can go on Maintankadin and find complete gear lists, and strategies on every boss. While I have found some good strategy information on the web, pretty much all of it is comp specific. I guess Ret/Arms/RestoD isn’t a very well known comp because there isn’t a whole lot of advice out there on it. We are kind of just making it up as we go along. I was extremely proud of our little team last night. After getting beat twice by an RMP (Rogue/Mage/Priest), we adjusted our strategy and beat them. It almost felt like Raiding. Two wipes and then we downed them. I have also struggled to find information on what pieces of PVP gear I should prioritize to get over others. One really nice thing about PVP gear is it’s a guarantee. You get the rating, the Honor and the

Paladin Vocabulary, "Holy"

Holy. It’s one of those words people use everyday, both in game and out of game, yet most people have a hard time articulating what it means. There is an entire subset of Paladins known as Holy Paladins, and of course one of the three Paladin talent trees is the Holy Tree. Paladins rely on Holy Light and Holy Shock as a major part of their healing rotation. These heals are augmented by Holy Guidance and Holy Power. Protection Paladins use Holy Shield to ensure every attack is at worst case a block, and all Paladins use Holy Wrath as an AoE spell for those pesky undead. Holy has a connotation of being in connection to a higher power, or the Divine. It is synonymous with Sacred. This is also part of the Paladin Vocabulary. Paladin tanks fulfill their Sacred Duty while Holy Paladins improve their Cleanse spell with Sacred Cleansing. It’s closely tied to our idea of Divinity. That’s why I think our minds get a little fuzzy when we try to pen down a meaning for Holy. Our limited, mortal,