Showing posts from July, 2009

Essence of Frustration

It wasn’t looking good for raiding last night. Neither team was going to have enough people to form up their raid. So my ever resourceful Guild Leader decided to combine the teams and form up a Raid. We made some solid attempts at 4 Tower Flame Leviathan before dialing it back to 2. I know my Guild Leader reads the blog (or did at one point) so let me put this suggestion out there. Instead of trying for 4 Towers next time, why don’t we try 3? Or if we try 4 Towers and can’t quite get it, why don’t we dial back to 3 instead of 2? It seems we are trying to leap from 2 Towers to 4 Towers. Let me suggest we take it in steps. We knocked out XT Hard Mode, and moved on Kologarn. We tried to get the achievement where you keep 25 Rubble up the whole fight, but we got overwhelmed somewhere around 20. We killed him and then went and put down the Cat Lady. Next up was Hodir. Our first attempt was rocking the Hard Mode when suddenly people started dying. I blurted out on vent a “What happen

[Patch 3.2] Tankadin Talent Spec

It’s beginning to look like 3.2 is stabilizing and we’ll soon be on the Live servers. My HonorsCode guarantee* is that that Patch will drop on August 11th, 2009. If you aren’t up to speed on the new changes coming, I recommend Rhidach’s excellent write up “ Tanks, What 3.2 Means to You .” In 3.2, Paladins have to make some difficult choices in our talent spec balancing Threat, Survivability and Utility. I’m going to do this a little bit like a college major. You have your core, required courses, and your electives. First I’m going to layout what I feel is the core Tankadin build. These are talents you should have in your build regardless of what situation you find yourself in. You aren’t getting your Tanking diploma from this dwarf without them. You will note that the core build is impossible without picking up some of the elective talents. We’ll talk about those choices in a bit. You Gotta Start Somewhere I don’t consider Divine Strength to be a ‘core’ talent, but you h

R.I.P. PVE Ret Paladins

Today, Honor's Code looks at the most recent change on the PTR to Retribution Paladins. Sorry for the drama of the title, but it got you to click to read the post didn't it? So yesterday, talking about the SoV/C change for Retribution I said "But I don’t think it’s going Live as is." Well I was wrong. There is a long thread on the WoW General Forums in which GC is having a pretty nice discussion with the players on this issue. I don't agree with everything he says, but I am very impressed with the level of feedback he is providing. That shouldn't be taken for granted and he needs to be thanked for it. Now he posted several times in what is becoming by now a very long thread. I'd like to highlight one of his responses on Page 11. He was replying to some of the comparisions of other classes with ramp up times to do DPS, like Ferals and Rogues. Now, stepping back, I think it's easy to take examples like this and argue which are apples and which ar

[Patch 3.2] Bugged by Bug Fixes

Blizzard recently published a set of bug fixes that are going into the next Patch. This isn’t an exhaustive list, more just covering the ones that I feel impact me. Auras: Any paladin aura active at the time of the paladin's death now automatically reactivates when the paladin returns to life. Nice little ‘quality of life’ improvement. There actually have been times where I’ve had to put Devotion Aura back up halfway through a Boss fight. I’m sure nobody noticed though. Blessing of Sanctuary: This talent and Vigilance will now both be able to be cast on the same target without sometimes overwriting each other. This is welcomed news. I don't feel that a Warrior should be casting Vigilance on a fellow tank. Vigilance should go on the highest threat DPSer. I recommend you macro a /cancelaura Vigilance into your Shield of the Righteousness if you are running any PuG raids, or have an uncooperative Warrior in your guild. That will remove Vigilance from you. Not to turn thi

In medias res

In medias res is a Latin phrase meaning “in the midst of affairs” or said more colloquially “in the middle of things.” This is where I believe we are at in the state of the PTR, especially to how it relates to the current firestorm going on about the change to SoV/C on the PTR. Just to bring you up to speed, SoV/C causes a stacking DoT on your target. It is currently the default seal of tanking Paladins. It rocks. It’s actually been buffed on the PTR. When you get your 5 stack up, the next time you proc the seal it will 33% of your weapon damage as Holy. Tanking Paladins are hopeful this damage will offset the threat loss from the nerf to Shield of Righteousness. On the PTR, it’s also the default seal for Retribution Paladins. Having Ret and Prot use the same Seal is not a good plan for future balancing issues. But it’s the most recent change to SoV/C that has all the Rets reaching for their pitchforks to march on Blizzard headquarters. Basically the change is that only auto a

Slump? What Slump?

After our exciting adventures on Tuesday, I was curious as to what our Thursday would turn out to be like. It would actually turn out to be pretty good. We started off with Hodir. We run 3 Healers to help out our Holy Paladin who was really struggling with the Raid damage in this fight. We were actually going for Hard Mode. We made some solid attempts, but our Raid Leader called for us to wipe it when it didn’t look like we were close. Then we had our Rogue die, only to get battle rezzed, and we were really cutting it close. This was going to be a kill, but whether we hit the Hard Mode timer or not was anyone’s guess. 2:59, I kid you not. I figured since I had just gotten Titanguard, Shiver was sure to drop. In the chest was none other than the SAME FREAKING STAFF that’s dropped ALL 4 TIMES we’ve killed Hodir Hard. Sorry to QQ about the loot. It’s frustrating. I’ve killed the Boss, I’ve ‘earned’ a Shiver or a Boreal Guard, but because the RNG doesn’t fall my way I’m stuck with

I Was Really Happy The Bubble Was Not on Cooldown

Let me set the scene for you. We’ve just lost Wintergrasp, again. This is hardly news on my server as the Horde wins 5 times for every 1 time we do. I’m on the western side of the zone when I spot a Rich Saronite Vein. I stop to mine it and mount back up on the Charger trying to find a place where I’m not technically in Wintergrasp anymore so I can mount up on my Drake and fly home to Dalaran. I got a little bit too close to the edge. And I was suddenly very, very, very happy that my Bubble was not on cooldown.

An About Page?

This post has nothing to do with WoW, Paladins, or Tanking. Continue reading at your own risk. During my interview on the Twisted Nether, we talked a little about my lack of an about page. Then during the whole Feraro mess, I made mention that I didn't think people were all that interested in reading about the balding, middle aged guy behind the dwarf. Some of the comments encouraged me that people might be interested in reading about that, so I'm going to open up a little bit today, and tell you about the guy at the keyboard. I grew up and still live in a part of the country affectionately known as the Bible Belt. Raised in a traditional denomination, we were in church every time the doors opened. It was little surprise that I was baptized before my 8th birthday. As I got towards the end of high school, my view towards church had started to change. It was more chore and tradition than anything real or meaningful in my life. There was no more acceptance, or feeling of

[Patch 3.2] PTR Testing Vindication and Ardent Defender

When I did my post on the change to Vindication coming in Patch 3.2, I got a question in the comments asking if Hammer of the Righteous would proc Vindication on multiple mobs. I checked around and it didn’t appear anyone had tested it. So I copied over to the Broxigar PVE PTR. Now I’ve never had Vindication and Hammer of the Righteous in the same build. I took the portal to Ironforge and respeced. I went with a Crusade build, even though some recent developments seem to indicate that Tankadins will not be going that deep into Ret anymore. Seal of Vengeance/Seals of the Pure Seal of Vengeance has been changed. When you have a 5 stack up and hit the mob, your seal will do 33% of your weapon damage. On Live it does maybe 10 to 15 points of damage. This may make you want to consider your old Broken Promise again, but after some theorycrafting it still looks like Item Level and DPS will trump speed. Stick with our highest iLevel/DPS weapon. In the latest build, Seals of the Pure has been b

Surviving The Summer

The story I’m about to tell you is neither new nor very unique. It’s happening across the World of Warcraft and now it’s come to my little guild. It’s called the Summer Slump. Raid attendance goes down, new people are brought and fights have to be relearned. Unusual Suspects is what I would call an OTA guild. OTA means Over Traditional Age. Most, if not all of our members, are adults with jobs, families, and other responsibilities. We are all over the age of the 'traditional' WoW player. Now at first, you might think that would make us less susceptible to the Summer Slump because we aren’t on the ‘school schedule’, but stuff still comes up in the ‘real world’. Keep in mind that Summer is the prime time for adults with school age children to take vacations. While I might be fighting through the struggle now, I could just as easily be the cause of it next time. Our Tanking core isn’t very deep, so I can imagine the team might have some struggles when I go on vacation next month.

[Patch 3.2] Vindicated!

One change in Patch 3.2 I haven’t touched on yet is the change to Vindication. As much as we like to complain when the Developers change Ret or Holy and that ends up unintentionally making it harder to tank (hello Spiritual Attunement?), sometimes we end up on the better end of the deal. Vindication was a tricky talent for the Developers to balance, and was pretty much PVP only as most mobs and ALL bosses were immune to it. On the PTR, Vindication has been changed to a major Attack Power reduction debuff. It is the same debuff that Warriors can put up with Improved Demoralizing Shot, Druids can put up with Improved Demoralizing Roar, and Warlocks can put up with Curse of Weakness. Vindication will not stack with those affects. If your raid group lacks Bears, Warriors, or Warlocks, you will now have the debuff covered. It is also worth pointing out that Paladins will probably be the best class to put this debuff up. Vindication is applied ‘on swing’. The Paladin doesn’t nee

Legitimate Warrior Concerns

After the excitement of Friday nights run, I really wanted to do some tanking on my Warrior. I was trying to put together a Heroic group when guild chat popped up with the idea of an Alt Naxx10 run. I jumped at the chance to be one of the tanks. The other tank was going to be the alt of one of our Shadow Priests, playing none other than a Protection Paladin. His Paladin out geared my Warrior. Just to give you an idea of the delta in our gear, he had about 4k more health than I did. He had only 535 Defense, so I actually got some Boss Tanking opportunities because I had 543 and our Alt Healers (also under geared) were concerned about him getting crit. This was the most significant amount of Raid Tanking I had done on my Warrior. As much as I hate to admit it, some of their concerns are legit. Now allow me to explain that statement a bit. I keep up with Tankspot and I read the concerns of Protection Warriors. Their major concerns seem to be Heroic Strike Spam, Threat issues compared to o

Arms Tanking?

I always keep my Friday nights open. There's always that chance that I'll come home and my wife will have made plans for us to go hang out with some of our 'couple' friends. “Sorry, honey, I can't go, I have a raid tonight” is not an acceptable answer. But Friday we didn't have any plans, so I logged on planning to do some dailies, but not really sure what else I would do. I saw a friend from Heren Isterion advertising for an OS25 and I asked if I could bring my Warrior alt. They said sure. While I was waiting for them to fill up, I got another whisper, this time from Dotslover (I'll let you guess his class), buddy of mine in Limitless , which is basically my old guild, Mal Katai , under a new name. They were running Naxx25 and wanted to know if I wanted to come. I was again on my Warrior. They already had their tanks sorted out, a Protection Paladin I knew, and two Protection Warriors I was familiar with my from time in Mal Katai . Altar of Storms

It'sssssssss BACON!!!

Since we had done a 25 man on Tuesday, we started with a fresh 10 man on Thursday. The run was fairly unremarkable except for the welcoming back of my old buddy, Baconstrip. Apparently, he's a changed man since he took a leave of absence When I heard he was coming back to the server, I was very excited, even though I thought for sure he would be going back to Heroes. Heroes Inc was the guild we broke off from to form Unusual Suspects. I was very happy to see that he was actually joining Unusual Suspects and would be part of our raid group. The run was fairly unremarkable. Flame Leviathan is still being stingy with the Flamewatch Armguards. I can’t tell you how happy I am there are crafted Bracers coming with Patch 3.2. I had worried I would be wearing Hapless Prey all the way to Icecrown. Of course, I can’t complain too much. The big Fire Truck did offer me a Titanguard on Tuesday. There are only a few pieces of loot left from Ulduar 10 that I really need: The Bracers, of course, R

[Patch 3.2] I Feel Diminished

Shield of Righteousness: Now deals 100% of shield block value as damage instead of 130%. In addition, the benefit from additional block value this ability gains is now subject to diminishing returns. Diminishing returns occur once block value exceeds 30 times the player's level and caps the maximum damage benefit from shield block value at 34.5 times the player's level. Source ) This news actually came out about a week ago. I wanted to let some time pass before I commented on it because initially I was just mad and that is rarely a good state of mind for a reasoned analysis of a change. So what does this change actually mean? For a Level 80 tank, diminishing returns start to kick in at 2400 Block Value (80*30). Block Value caps at 2760. Every point of Block Value you get from 2400 to 2760 contributes less and less. For instance, let’s say you’ve got 2400 Block Value exactly. You get an ‘upgrade’ in Tier 9 that increases you Block Value by 80 over the old piece of gear. Your


We put our two raid teams together again Tuesday night and went after Ulduar. Flame Leviathan It seemed quite a few people were interested in driving Siege Vehicles, so I grabbed a Motorcycle for this fight. One of the other motorcycle drivers was Donk from our 10 man. He loves riding the motorcycle and has done the role many times. I basically just shadowed him and tried to do what he did. We never launched anyone up and Flame Leviathan was dead in less than two minutes. I didn’t loot the body. This robot has not been kind to me on either 10 or 25 man. I was going to save myself the disappointment. I had not reacted well the night before when Hodir Hard didn't drop either Shiver or Boreal Guard. I wasn't going to repeat that by complaining about Flame Leviathan's loot. Then over vent someone said “ooo, Titanguard”. I figured they were just playing with me. But Ellevis linked it and the other totally inconsequential things that dropped. We had a couple of guests from Heroe

Speaking Another Language

My guild did an “Alt Naxx10” run over the weekend. I was going on my Warrior since I had burned my Hunter in a Naxx10 pug earlier. We needed an offtank, but my Warrior just wasn’t ready. He was sitting at around 515 Defense, so I went in as DPS. My DPS wasn’t steller. People joke that I’m all Greens and an Ironsoul. That isn’t far from the truth, but I am in mostly Blues, not Greens! Depending on the fight I did about 1.7k to 1.8k. That’s right about what Hammer was doing at that gear level. We knocked out Spider, Plague and Construct without much problem. I was the only Plate wearer who needed any gear from Naxx10 the first night. Our Tanks were a Death Knight and Protection Paladin. Both were geared past anything that Naxx10 could give them. I came away with a new Back , a Ring , two new chests , and a Shield . I was fighting that old ‘upgrades take me below the crit cap’ battle that I fought (and honestly still fight) on Honorshammer. It had really bothered me that I wa

[Patch 3.2] Avoidance Nerf

There’s a change on the PTR that I haven’t mentioned yet. I wasn’t sure I understood it, and I certainly didn’t understand what it would mean. Let’s get to the change: Dodge Rating: The amount of dodge rating required per percentage of dodge has been increased by 15%. This is before diminishing returns. Combined with other changes, this makes dodge rating and parry rating equally potent before diminishing returns apply. Parry Rating: The amount of parry rating required per percentage of parry has been reduced by 8%. This is before diminishing returns. Combined with other changes, this makes dodge rating and parry rating equally potent before diminishing returns apply. Parry still diminishes more quickly than dodge. The Developers noticed that every tank was going for Dodge over Parry. Parry get penalized because it has a positive side effect. When you parry a Boss’ attack, you swing faster next time theoretically making Parry a ‘threat’ and ‘avoidance’ statck. Don’t confuse

Me and 24 of My Best Friends

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that my guild, Unusual Suspects, had absorbed a second 10 man raiding group from one of the other guilds from our server. The new group is led by a Death Knight named Perplexity, so I call them Perp’s group. My group, well, I just call that my group, lol. Both groups continued to concentrate on 10-man raiding, but we knew that having the new group would allow us to do the occasional 25 man raid. I was very excited when I saw the 25 man Ulduar raid on the in game Calendar for Tuesday night. Before the raid, I finally told myself to stop over thinking everything and just bought the Shard of the Crystal Forest for 19 Emblems of Conquest. I’ll be swimming in those things soon enough (3.2). We were a couple of people short but we were able to fill out the raid with people from my old guild, called Heroes Inc. So we had our 25 man raid ready to go. Ellevis, the Death Knight who runs my raid group, was handling the raid leader responsibilities.