Almost a Decade: Reminiscing and Reflecting

Posted July 5, 2014 by Ophelie
Categories: Guild thoughts

Tags: , ,

For the Quest is achieved, and now all is over. I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam.”
- Frodo (JRR Tolkien, The Return of the King)

Obviously, it’s not the end of all things. It’s not even really the end of WoW or raiding for me yet. But since the second my last raid ends, I’ll be unplugging my computer, putting it into a box and putting the box in my car to be driven to my storage unit, I’m getting my cheesy writing (or emotional exhibitionism, if you look at it like that) out of the way.

I do think of myself as mainly retired from raiding. I got my Herroic Garrosh kill. Even though it’s only on 10s (not that there’s anything wrong with 10s – I’m just a 25s raider), asking for anything more would just be greedy. Cadenza has resumed 25s raiding and there is a small chance we might get the 25s kill before I leave, but I try not to get my hopes up. Right now I’m just concentrating on enjoying my last month of modern conveniences and, as you’d have it, the last few weeks with the guild (and with Ben, Arielle and Ed – our incomplete yet still wonderful Challenge Mode team) have been some of the happiest in my WoW life.

On Twitter every now and again, you get the haters who whine about long winded people leaving the game. “Just shut and leave already!” They tweet and retweet over and over.

But you know what? This has been almost 10 years of my life. This has been almost one third of my life. And it’s my blog and I can do what I want on my blog. So I’m going to write and write about my last days of WoW and THERES NOTHING THE HATERS CAN DO ABOUT IT.

Where I was when I got sorta serious about WoW

I don’t remember that I’ve ever really written about it before, because it’s something that I don’t really like to write about (I’m goofy, happy writer not a sad, sad, sad one) but just before I got serious about WoW, I was struggling with an unexpected and totally disproportionate case of Reverse Culture Shock (or Return/Re-Entry/Own-Culture Shock – I don’t think it’s an official condition so it doesn’t have an official name or definition).

I had done a semester abroad at Humboldt State University, which is a hippy-ish school in the middle of California’s redwood forest. You wouldn’t think that California would be a huge culture shift for a French Canadian, but because the school was so isolated, some very tight knit communities formed within it and, for the first time of my life, I was part of one. There were about 30 of us who became family for a few months. We spent all our free time together, supported each other and became a very communal group of people. For someone who’s generally happiest alone, in a small room, with the door closed, discovering the joys of communal living and discovering that I actually liked it, were a huge revelation.

When I got back home to my small room, alone with the door closed, I couldn’t readjust. I hate self pity so I’ll spare you most of the gory details (most of them are pretty humiliating anyway) and insist on the parts that tie into WoW. The first was that the grief from losing my foreign student family made the reverse culture shock all that much harder. I usually handle loss pretty well (I am, after all, the girl who moves across the continent every few years) but that one, I couldn’t accept. The second was that for about two years, I fumbled around blindly, trying to find that feeling of community again.

I found scraps of it at the autism camp I started working at (just saying – when you’re lost and scared, there’s no better therapy than working at an autism camp), I found scraps of it with the new friends I made at my new university, I found scraps of it when I got accepted to pharmacy school. But I found a huge, freaking chunk of it with my first committed WoW guild, Whitefalcons.

The Whitefalcons/Red Tear Years

It’s funny how what you’re looking for tends to be found in the most unexpected places.

I was desperately trying to find that communal feeling at school since the first place I had experienced it was in a school setting. I was frustrated and discouraged that my forceful “WE ALL NEED TO BE FAMILY RIGHT NOW” wasn’t working. During my failures, however, I did meet a guy that I dated for a few months and I convinced him to start playing WoW.

Since that guy was far more outgoing than me, he found a guild that seemed like a happy place. I was mainly guildless (I did go through a few levelling guilds that I had zero attachments to – I can’t even remember their names) so I asked if I could join. They said yes and, to my greatest surprise, I really liked them.

I didn’t make the connection to my searching for community at the time, in fact, I didn’t even make the connection until I was writing this post in my head yesterday. Back then, I was dead set on finding a physical community, but in retrospect, my WoW guilds filled that gaping hole in my life, which kinda explains the extreme attachment I’ve had to certain guilds as well as my embarrassingly explosive reactions when things didn’t go the way I wanted.

Anyway, Whitefalcons was composed of a handful of guys (Vector, Scout, Webby, Amar, Bone, Noldor, Stony where those who were around most), most of whom were considerably older than me. Whitefalcons raided with another, larger guild, Red Tear, with whom they eventually merged. Since most of Red Tear was also about 15 years older than me and I was pretty young at the time, I cheerfully gained a lot of uncles. (And the few members who were close to me in age became dear friends.)

My very first raid was Gruuls and I’ve been hooked ever since. I was absolutely awful when I started. You know that healer in heroic 5s who shows up with mismatched healing and dps gear, some of which isn’t even intended for their class? That was me. I didn’t know anything about addons, stats (better gear just has more armor, right?) or rotations. I cringe so bad when I think of it.

They were patient with me. Jojo, the other holy pally, gently nudged me in the right direction. Scar-my-favorite-priesty-forever, whom I swear was a living WoW encyclopedia, patiently explained WoW truth after WoW truth to me. It was also Scar who educated me when I decided to explore tanking (exploration that did not lead to a very fruitful discovery). The rest of the guild humoured me as a I went from clueless n00b to super annoying know-it-all (“I READ IT ON A BLOG SO IT MUST BE TRUE AND ITS THE ONLY WAY TO DO THINGS OF COURSE” Yep. My shame haunts me to this day.)

Eventually I outgrew Red Tear’s patient raiding ways. I became so annoying that I started getting excluded from non-official raid activities (Me! The most dedicated and obsessive of all players! Why would they do such a thing, I don’t even!) and I realized that it was time to move on.

And here is the juicy story I’ve only ever hinted at on the blog (at least to my memory). The night I left, my supposed-to-be last official raid, I lost it. I mean, I really, really lost it.

I was hoping we’d do a fun 25s run, but a lot of people didn’t want to raid so we ended up downsizing to 10s. Now I know I can be dramatic. I was especially dramatic back then. But what happened shocked even me.

I just totally lost my shit. Freaked out. Panicked. Whispered people, begging them to… dammit, I don’t even remember what I was begging for. I /gquit and spent the rest of the night in some sobbing hazy mess.

It took like 6 years for me to make the connection, but my guess was that it triggered those Reverse Culture Shock and that huge grief feelings. I had found that communal feeling I had been aching for, and now that I had finally become more stable in my non-WoW life, I was putting myself through it all over again.

I’ve had very little contact with Red Tear since. There are a few people I’m still occasionally in touch with (I talked to Lala for a bit awhile ago, I participated in a set of group emails with a few people, I’m friends with some on Facebook, I had lunch with Vector last time I was in his city, Nunu stopped by the blog once to say hi and I’ve hung out with Scar a few times <33333 Scar.), but mostly I'm still too embarrassed about my meltdown to even consider having an alt in the guild. Even if, you know, I had time to have alts in guilds.

The Conquest Brohood (Where girls can be bros too)

After Red Tear, I moved to Conquest. They were a few steps up in terms of raiding seriousness and I was overjoyed at finally getting put in my place. I was learning all over again and, to my greatest joy (or maybe it was just relief), found that communal feeling again.

I feel that I don’t need to write too much about my time in Conquest since I’ve already pretty much written a collection of short stories on the topic. It’s called The Bossy Pally blog.

But like with Red Tear, I eventually moved in a different direction than the guild. Like with Red Tear, I tried to cling to the ripping seams holding me in. I got annoying again. Some of the more vocal guildies were, um, you know, vocal about my annoyness.

Because I was happy with the progression, I didn’t want to leave. But I was frustrated with the weakening leadership at the time. Not a slight against Matt, of course. I’ve been totally unfair to Matt over the years, for which I’m sincerely sorry. There were a lot of changes and a lot of sorting things out within the guild and I craved a tighter leash. I expressed it in all the wrong ways (again, embarrassing details which I will spare myself of telling).

So again, I left my communal family (which, by then, was not my communal family anymore), with slightly more dignity than I left Red Tear. And while I wasn’t as noisy as when leaving Red Tear, it was just as rough, if not more. With Red Tear, I lost my uncles, with Conquest, I lost my brothers. For months, when I’d think about my last few weeks in Conquest, rage would bubble up. It took every strand of my self control to not write explicit blog posts about it. (And if you’re wondering, I’m very happy now that I left most of it off the blog. When I eventually made peace, I was glad those bridges were still cross-able.)

The Team Sport Year

Around the time I left Conquest, I was at a pretty intense part of pharmacy school. I couldn’t handle the 2 am bedtimes 3 times a week so I figured I’d tone down the raiding. Thespius, who was a friend of Matt’s, heard about this and asked if I wanted to raid with his 10s guild.

The funny thing about Team Sport was that they were exactly the community I’d been looking for, but their raiding style was so different from mine that I never really got that attached. They were excellent people and really, really good friends with each other (with the exception of one guy who was super weird…his heart was in the right place, I think, but he was impossible to raid with), but they were mainly friends who also raided instead of raiders who had bonded over raiding. They did want to make the transition, but I don’t think they were in the right place in their lives (with families and other commitments) for it to work.

I learned two things about myself in Team Sport:

1- I’m a 25s raider through and through. Being as shy as I am, 10s are a huge treat for me. But that’s what they are – a treat. My main course has to be 25s, or I’m still hungry.
2- I can’t stand to “raid casually”. I tried it and it didn’t work. I need more pressure and more mental stimulation. And that’s why I can’t see myself really coming back to WoW after the Epic Journey. I might level and explore the game a bit, but there are other things I want to do with my life (like, you know, have kids or take evening lessons) and casual raiding just ain’t gonna happen.

Either because I wasn’t fully recovered from leaving Conquest or because I didn’t bond as deeply with my Team Sport guildies (although I still think they’re awesome people and I have 100% respect for them), leaving them for Occasional Excellence was, you know, pretty smooth by my standards.

The Occasional Excellence… 9 months?

Occasional Excellence crashed and burned, which is a shame because I had a lot of fun with them. I finally got the tight leash I wanted, I had lots of opportunities to get involved and the progression was fantastic.

It’s hard to say if I would have gotten in the same place of despair I was in when leaving Red Tear or Conquest. The guild fell apart as I was just starting to bond with my guildies. By then, though, I was in a way different place in my life. I’d accumulated a lot more losses, which had hardened me up. I had (finally) readjusted to being on my own all the time and didn’t feel a huge need for an internet family.

The rest I’ve written plenty about recently. I went to Conquest for a little bit. Planned on being a non-raider but hated non-raiding. Didn’t like the healing lead (and again, was a little frustrated with the leadership as whole. I’m far too masochistic for Conquest, I think.) so I looked elsewhere and found Cadenza.

The Last Year and Half

I always kinda write the same thing about Cadenza: that the progression is great, that the guild structure is completely different from anything I’ve ever experienced (or even heard about), that I didn’t form overly deep bonds with anyone (other than Ed, of course) and that the lack of emotional roller coasters was relaxing.

I’ve honestly tried to write more in depth (as can be seen by the huge pile of half written posts in my draft box), but I keep feeling like it’s not my story to tell. So I try to write as an observer (after all, if you’re unusually fascinated by small group dynamics or the study of microcultures like I am, Cadenza is a super interesting topic) but then I worry that I’ll say something disrespectful (Conquest was pretty much fair game since Matt was super public about a lot of things, including guild stuff. Kith, on the other hand, is probably the most private person I’ve ever met.) or that I’ll interpret an element totally wrong (I’m more worried about being ridiculous than offending anyone, but I’m nonetheless worried). And, you know, I still want to play with these people for a few more weeks!

I don’t know how I’ll react when I finally pull the plug. I mean, I know I won’t have a meltdown because I’ve learned to savor the present instead of aiming for stupid symbolic one-time moments. I know there I won’t be feeling any deep rooted resentment because, well, I’m not angry about anything and anger takes me a lot longer than 3 weeks to cultivate. I know I won’t be lost because I have really exciting things coming up (Epic Journey, yay!!).

I will be sad, for sure. I’ve come to really enjoy the company of a number of my guildies and I feel those slow grown friendships have a lot of potential. I’ll be hopeful that some of them will keep in touch. Then I’ll be thoughtful about how far I’ve come in 10 years from that clueless little girl who lost her exchange student friends.

And then I’ll probably be distracted (and stressed) by the mountains and mountains of work I’ll still have to do before tackling the Trans-Canada Highway.

On Solo Healing HGarrosh 10 as a Paladin

Posted June 13, 2014 by Ophelie
Categories: Boss Fight: Pandaria, Paladinning Info, Teh paladin

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Trust me, it sounds more impressive than it is!

Especially in my case, where I got to skip all the learning and strat adjusting attempts, coming in after the guild had already killed Heroic Garrosh twice. So I don’t deserve any credit at all, I just wanted to share how we did it and what it was like, in case other guilds getting ready to wrap up their Siege of Orgrimmar heroic progression are looking for inspiration.

leftovers

I don’t think our logs are confidential so you can go to town with them. You’ll notice that on my kill we had a paladin tank (who did almost as much healing as me /shame – I guess healers really are a crutch), 3 shaman (2 elemental and one enhancement), one hunter (yay Logan!), one mage, one warlock, one ret pally and one rogue. That should add up to 10 people if you include me.

The one tank, one healer strat lets you skip a lot of annoying parts (What? No Terrace phase? That’s just tooooo bad!) lowering your screw up potential. Dunno about the rest of you, but I like when my screw up potential is lowered.

I unfortunately don’t know the minor details of our strat (the Cadenza way is to show up and do as you’re told), but here is a general idea of what a typical attempt looks like. (You’ll just have to fill in the blanks with your imagination. The Bossy Pally blog supports creativity!)

General Fight Overview when 1-tanking-1-healing

Pull
– Garrosh gets pulled to a spot between the throne and the center of the room. We all stack. A weapon is desecrated and promptly killed. Adds engage us and die pretty quickly (I’m not sure of the exact way we kill them – we seemed to have more success when we didn’t neglect Garrosh during the adds killing, but I don’t think they were killed by cleave damage alone either). Sometime around then Garrosh gets moved to the middle of the room. Our mage, with the help of our hunter, kills one of the Ironstar guys. A Wolfrider shows up around then with, I think, heals that need to be interrupted. If our dps is awake, Garrosh will transition with 10-20 seconds left until the next phase. If our dps is asleep, we get another wave of adds. You can survive the wave but it’s super annoying.

Jade Serpent – We split up to kill/interrupt the different groups of adds. The people killing the adds near Garrosh do some damage to the adds in the middle as they run past. Me, I’d run up and hit Blinding Light a second or two after I reached them. Adds should die super super fast. (As you can probably guess, this is the phase that was hardest for us.) Everyone tries to get the protection buff, then we dance around Garrosh while he casts annihilate.

Dancing Around The Room – Starting in the back of the room, melee stack on the boss, ranged stack further back. When Garrosh tosses a desecrated weapon, ranged runs in for mind control. After mind control, ranged stay put and Garrosh is moved away. A whirl happens, then rinse and repeat. Or maybe whirl happens before desecrated weapon. (I suck, I’m sorry.) The tank takes pretty big hits from Garrosh during this phase.

Big, Purple Garrosh phase – After about 3 (4?) moves, Garrosh gets empowered. From what I remember, we handle the weapon, mind control and whirl the same way, only with more CDs. Adds spawn out of people, people kill those adds (this phase is kinda intense so I have trouble seeing what’s going on beyond the health bars – I know that if I were to get an add, our tank picks it up and kills it for me). I think this is around where we hero…

Garrosh’s Fantasy – I stood a little bit out for Malice….beyond that I don’t know much of what happens here since I’ve only seen this phase 2-3 times. There are bombs on the floor which are pretty easy to avoid. I got chased by a big wheel one attempt. Anyway, Garrosh gets dpsed, he dies, Azeroth is saved, we rejoice.

The Paladin Set Up

I went with this build, using Dysmorphic Samophlange of Discontinuity (yes, normal version – stupid trinket that never drops on heroic) and Prismatic Prison of Pride as my trinkets. The Divinity glyph probably wasn’t necessary since mana wasn’t an issue with the Selfless Healer build, but it’s kinda my staple glyph. The fight only lasts about 8 minutes anyway so it’s not like adding a longer CD on Lay on Hands is going to hurt anything.

Selfless Healer worked really well. To where it’s almost like they designed the fight with Selfless Healer in mind. The times I stumbled were more due to me not being proficient with the style (what’s my judgement keybind again?) than to the build itself. Someone who’s fast with Selfless Healer would probably rock the fight. As for the lack of control, I’d say the only time I really missed my direct Eternal Flames was during the adds in the Empowered (big, purple Garrosh) phase.

Someone asked me about my stat weights. I just went with my regular Eternal Flame gear and I guess it was ok. I don’t min-max these days so I’m not sure of the PERFECT IDEAL BUILD, especially for Selfless Healer, but this worked out just fine:

Mastery > Int > Haste = Spirit > Crit

I suppose I could have wrung out more healing if I’d traded in some Spirit (which is way more useful for Eternal Flame) for extra Mastery (or Haste) and maybe buffed my heals with more Intellect, but, really, if you’re working on Heroic Garrosh this time of expansion, your gear should be more than good enough. You don’t have to stress too much over stats.

Just as a point of interest, though, absorbs covered almost 50% of my healing on my kill.

The Cooldown Layout

Surviving Heroic Garrosh is all about the cooldowns.

As a paladin healer, this is just like any other challenging fight (it actually confused me when I was learning the fight. I was all “why are you reminding me so much about cooldowns, OF COURSE I’m using my cooldowns!”) where you want to have your cooldowns pretty much mapped out beforehand. The difference with other fights, though, is that you’ll want to coordinate your cooldowns with everyone else‘s damage reduction and offhealing cooldowns.

When I did the fight, the team already had a system going and were, obviously, far more aware of the damage patterns than I was, so our raid leader did most of my cooldown planning for me (Cadenza way and all) in a briefing session before the raid (I guess other teams could use their forums, but we don’t have an active website). Teams newly engaging the fight would have to go about it a little differently, but I still think it’s helpful for everybody if one person leads the cooldown coordination.

Anyway, for inspiration’s sake, here is how my CDs were mapped:

Light’s Hammer
– Shortly before the first desecrated weapon (right after the pull), at the beginning of the Annihilate dance, then pretty much when it comes off CD (if I remember right, 2ndish whirl, empowered mind control and final burn).

Avenging Wrath, Divine Favor, Guardian of Ancient Kings – Staggered through the Annihilate dance, then during (or rather, right before) Empowered Whirl.

Holy Avenger – First whirl, then Empowered Whirl. (And again if it came off CD before the kill, I can’t remember.)

Devo Aura – First whirl, then right before shifting into Garrosh’s Fantasy (note that we had 3 paladins, so the other two were using their Devos at different times. I’m sure of their exact timings but I believe Annihilate dance, other whirls, the Empowered mind control/whirl, the final burn were among the situations that called for a Devo).

Hand of Sacrifice – As an emergency backup. Our ret pally was using Hand of Purity when our tank called for it. I’d use Hand of Sac either when I was called to use it, when a Hand of Purity didn’t go off or when I felt like I needed it to prevent a tank death. This always happened during the Dancing Around The Room phase.

Lay on Hands – Can only use it once, I kept it as an emergency heal for whoever needed it. Instant big big heals are good.

Bubble - Annihilate dance, Empowered Whirl (the Annihilate bubble wasn’t overly necessary as I’d move anyway out fear of my bubble wearing off before I’d notice, but it is good backup for that phase and lets it come off CD for Empowered Whirl where standing still and healing one’s heart out is good.) and maybe the final burn if it was available again.

Divine Protection
– I didn’t plan that one and it was too automatic for me to remember exactly where I used it, but I would suggest during the first desecrate weapon/adds wave, then pretty much whenever there was damage and it was off CD.

I may have used Int or Mana potions somewhere in there but I honestly don’t remember…

Final Touches

That pretty much covers the translation of my messy notes into WoW blogging language.

If you’re curious about mana, Selfless Healer ensured that I didn’t really run out. I’d hit Divine Plea as a I was getting sucked into the Jade Serpent phase then pretty much when it came off CD, but with the exception of some attempts where I’d overindulge during Dancing Around the Room, my mana bar wasn’t a huge concern.

As for doing sad Holy Pally dps, I did use Denounce to help a little when the first, Jade Serpent (minus Annihilate dance) and final phases were going smoothly. Doubt it made a huge difference, but if I was to be waiting for the raid to take damage, might as well make myself useful!

A Last Unexpected Step

Posted June 5, 2014 by Ophelie
Categories: Guild actions, Teh paladin

Tags: , , , ,

Exactly 3 weeks after I wrote my last post, this happened:

garroshkill

It was the guild’s 3rd kill. I didn’t participate in the 200ish learning wipes. It was a 10s raid…

I didn’t expect much of an impact at the end, but, because the game (or is it life?) never ceases to surprise me, I was hit in the face by a huge wave of feels when those achievements made my screen shiny.

As I happily watched the achievements fade, my guildies asked if I was going to write a blog post about it.

I said yes.

So here is a blog post.

Pandaria and the Road to Heroic Garrosh

Looking back, the way to Heroic Garrosh felt like…like a journey. (I think I may have journeys on the brain these days.) The first tier of the expansion was annoying. My first guild, Occasional Excellence, fell apart (or was blown up by it’s leaders – however you want to look at it) and I ran back to my on-again-off-again love, Conquest. I didn’t click with the healing lead they had at the time (understatement of the century) so I was both elated and terrified when I got a chance to trial for Cadenza.

I was lucky that holy pallies looked pretty good on logs at the time. I died a lot. I mean, a lot. Heart of Fear was full of those twitchy movement fights that make me panic and run into no-nos. But, to my greatest relief, they let me stay. So I played with Cadenza for the rest of the expansion – almost a year and a half.

A year and a half! I’ve spent more time in Cadenza now then I have in any guild, save for Red Tear (my very, very first raiding guild). Where did the time go?

You Want Stories?

My time in Cadenza was relatively uneventful too, when you compare it to my past experiences. But…

If you want funny stories, I had a little bit of drama with a resto druid who went out of her way to top meters. And I mean out of her way. From chasing me around to murder me on Ji-Kun and, to a lesser extend, Twin Consorts (to this day, I get this icky sick feeling in my stomach when I get close to Ji-Kun), to flirting with the guild leader to get loot/LFR runs/other privileges (I didn’t pay enough attention to see how well that worked out for her), to making us wait while she hearthed out to gem/reforge EVERY piece of gear she won, to life gripping melee who bothered her away from bosses. After the Ji-Kun thing, I got my revenge by dispelling her on Primordius when she’d steal puddles from the DPS. I got in trouble for it (because she was deranged enough to complain even though she was breaking the rules) and was super embarrassed at how I’d sunk to such childish levels. In retrospect, and now that I’m more comfortable in the guild, I find the whole thing pretty amusing and love telling the story.

If you want sappy stories, my copally and I started talking about pally stuff one night. Which led to conversations about Final Fantasy, Dragon Age, Mass Effect and other games. Which led to us to attempting challenge modes together with some other guildies. Which led to him inviting me to group on one of his PvE-server alts to phase me whenever I logged in (Tichondrius is a horrible, horrible place when you can’t defend yourself). Which eventually led to us thinking “where have you been all my life?” We’ve been officially together for almost a year now and still going strong. He’s even coming with me for the South East Asia portion of the Epic Journey. Past experiences had made me think that I couldn’t handle long distance relationships, but it’s been surprisingly easy. I guess what they say is true- it’s all about meeting the right person.

If you want meeting-guildies IRL stories – I did meet quite a few of my Cadenza guildies. I’d already met Logan, of course, from our Conquest days. But at Blizzcon, I got to hang out with him, Kith, Theck, Arg, Finwe, Kerrine (and ALL of them AT THE SAME TIME). Given how quiet and not friendly I am in guild, I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun I had with them. They all felt like people I’d be friends with if I were around them IRL, even if we didn’t all play the same video game. In April, the boy (we can call him Ed now) and I made another trip to California to meet Loriey and Twilightfang, then Cup and Chuggy, two other guild couples. Just like us, both couples had one American partner and one international partner so it was fun to share meeting stories and getting stuck at customs stories (poor Cup). (For a guild that rarely has girls – I was the only raiding girl in the guild for a big portion of my time there – we sure have a lot of couples.) We also got to hang out with Arg, Finwe and Corv throughout the week and, again, I felt like we’d been offline friends all our lives. When Ed and I went back to New Jersey, we hung out with Kith and Sang (though not both of them at the same), and again, super good times that ended way too soon. (Sang, however, probably had little idea who I was, having quit the game a few weeks after I joined but I’d heard so much about him that I begged Ed to introduce me.)

Back to Heroic Garrosh

When a lot of our team gave up and we resized to 10s, I figured my time was over. (My raid leader would probably scold me for having “no faith”.) But eventually, the main team killed it and I was offered a chance at my title.

I hadn’t played my pally in weeks. My keybinding were so far in my mind that during our re-clear, I once Bopped our tank instead of Saccing him (you know, old skool Rykga style). That whole re-clear was painful and scary. We spend hours trying to kill Spoils. I felt like it was all my fault since they did fine in past weeks when I wasn’t there. Some wipes were obviously my fault, like when I didn’t notice Seal of Insight wasn’t up, or when my power went out mid-fight, or when I made a wrong turn and ran right into bombs. I attributed the other wipes to my bad luck aura.

Eventually, late into our second night, we reached Heroic Garrosh. I think the last time I was that nervous before a fight was early in my Cadenza trial. My raid leader had gone over the strat (we use a 1 healer, 1 tank strat) and my cooldown timing with me earlier. I chose a Selfless Healer style (which, by the way, worked out really good for most of the fight), which I’m less comfortable with (WTF is judgement?) but that I eased into as the night went on.

Then it was classic Cadenza “push until your brain shuts down and then just keep going until your hands know the fight”. (It’s embarrassing to explain sometimes – at one point around 1 am, my raid leader called for a Devo Aura in a couple of seconds. As soon as I heard “Rykga” and “Devo Aura”, my finger just landed on the button. When I got scolded afterward, I was thinking “how do I explain the accident happened due to a post-brainshutdown response?)

I’d had a pretty long day (a pretty long week, actually), didn’t have a chance to eat between work and raid, and, unlike the rest of the guild, I didn’t have 200+ wipes under my belt. So I made mistakes. Most of the mistakes were execution (the actual healing and cooldown use was easier than you’d expect) although not having Selfless Healer quite mastered caused a few not-so-fun moments. The raid seemed to play good-cop-bad-cop with me – I’d get scolded by the raid leader and the rest of the raid would whisper me encouragements (this is how awesome my guildies are – my eyes get all prickly when think about it). And because I’m always a big nervewreck, and my level of nervewreckness skyrockets when I’m tired and hungry, my self talk was along the lines of “all these people are here to help you get this kill and you’re letting them down. If we don’t kill Garrosh, it’s ALL YOUR FAULT AND THEY WILL ALL HATE YOU FOREVER

When I finally crawled into bed after raid, I bawled like a baby for hours.

The Final Go

We were back again the next day. I pulled our healing lead aside for some pointers and pep talk before raid (he’d healed all the previous kills, so he knows.)

This time I was slightly better rested and slightly less hungry (I never seem to have time to eat and sleep these days. My clothes are getting baggy – there’s nothing like the “being worked to death” diet for one’s figure.) All the brainless wipes had also reinforced muscle memory. (Actually, one thing I discovered while raiding with Cadenza is that if you keep going when you’re exhausted and can’t handle it anymore, you might not perform well, but you learn. You learn very, very well.)

I was ready.

It still took awhile to get the kill, but most of the wipes had little, if anything, to do with me. I was determined and confident.

We started off the night wiping in the first phase. Then we wiped in Jade Temple. Then we wiped during the Whirl phase. Then we wiped during Empowered phase. Then, FINALLY, we made it to the last phase.

And then Heroic Garrosh died and I had one of those moments.

I spent the rest of the night celebrating with the guild in Vent. It was one the best evenings I’d spend with them. Usually raid ends late and I have to work the next day so I can’t stay and socialize. With the exception of those who I’ve met IRL, I barely knew my guildies at all. It was such a good time – they seemed genuinely happy for me and I was riding the high from the kill.

It felt more like a beginning than an end. Which is heartbreaking since the Epic Journey starts in August. I’m also not sure how much raiding I’ll get to do with them in July (we ARE started 25s again on June 27. I’m not sure if there are spots open but anyone who’s still reading and are thinking they might be interested in joining Cadenza, check with Agwyne, our guild and raid leader, on Tichondrius) since I work during a portion of raid time. But, for an ending, it’s certainly a happy one and I’ll think back on the past year and a half (and the last, what, 8? years of raiding) whenever I need some positive thoughts.

My mom and my non-gaming friends always ask me if I think I’d ever regret all the hours I spent on WoW.

The answer is “never“.

Rykga, Hellscream's Downfall says hi

Rykga, Hellscream’s Downfall says hi

This is how a WoW Raiding Career Ends

Posted May 10, 2014 by Ophelie
Categories: Teh paladin

Since the Epic Journey became official, I pictured my WoW raiding career ending with a euphoric heroic expansion-end boss kill. My imagination conjured cheering, a few tears and massive mental hugs given to those guildies I get along best with.

Nothing goes as planned, though, and it seems my WoW raiding career ended a few weeks ago. It was the most anticlimactic moment ever, with a half-full 25 man group and a lot of sitting around.

Since then, I’ve been doing LFR on my mage to gear up for challenge modes.

Attendance had been too much of a problem lately. You’d think everyone would be pushing everyone else to get their heroic 25 Garrosh kill, but I guess the slow progression through Siegecrafter and Paragons burned out a lot of our team. The raid was fed up before the Garrosh wipes even started.

I may have contributed to the attendance problem a bit myself, with my late-late work hours and my constantly being on the road.

The decision was made to get the kill on 10 for everyone who wants it. So our A team has been in there, night after night, wiping for a good cause. I’ve been tracking their progress and I suspect whatever bitter taste I have in my mouth is from habit only. There was a time where I’d rage till I turned blue about being left out.

These days, I feel almost….relieved

Paladins have been so frustratingly weak in 25s this tier, at least compared to the disc priests and the shaman I play with, that my confidence has been squished to nothing. Plus, more importantly, I think, with my work days often extending from 9 am until 11pm/midnight and my days off consumed with either travel or housework, and the very ends of my evenings dedicated to a boyfriend who likes to not be neglected, I find that during raid time, I’m more inclined to pass out on my keyboard than participate actively.

The past few months, I’ve been in tears, ranting about how much I miss being able to enjoy raid. How much I miss looking forward to raid all week, how much I miss blogging about it every second day. Now here I am, in the kind of guild I’ve been aiming for since getting hooked on raiding and all I want to do is sleep.

So that’s how this WoW raiding career ended: with a beloved class getting destroyed, a burned out raid team, and most significantly, an offline life that slowly consumed what few hours I had to myself to play video games.

It'll be dark for awhile.

It’ll be dark for awhile.

If you’re looking for me, you’ll find me on the couch, under a blanket, savoring my limited minutes of self-indulgence.

10 Things I’ve Been Doing While Not Blogging

Posted March 9, 2014 by Ophelie
Categories: Beyond WoW

Tags: , , , ,

That’s right, it’s time for a quarterly blog update!

Since all my posts for, like, the past three years or something have basically been “why I’m not writing”, I figured this time I’d give it a fun twist and share my exciting adventures Cosmo-style!

1- Visiting Nelson, BC

I had booked my January vacation time a looooooong time ago with plans to bike around Samoa. Sometime after then, I met the boy and we decided to go to Taiwan instead. After some thought, though, we decided that we should save for our Epic Journey next year and keep it simple. So he flew out out here, we hopped in my car and drove across the provincial border to visit my middle brother who lives in a settlement called Nelson.

Given Nelson‘s reputation as a hippy town, I was kind of expecting a collection of tents. To my surprise, Nelson is a full sized city with a busy downtown, lots to do and a ton of personality. We were there for about three days. In that time we visited some parks, toured a museum, ate delicious, delicious food (the best thing about BC, I think, is that it’s one of the few places in Canada where you can eat veggies that taste like something, EVEN IN WINTER!!!), skiied at Whitewater, learned to cross country ski at the Nelson Nordic Ski Club and relaxed at the Ainsworth Hot Springs.

We extended our stay a little bit when we found out Fred Penner was booked to play (a “grown ups” concert) that Saturday. Sadly, his flight got delayed and we couldn’t stay long enough for him to get to town. (My brother got to see him, though, said it was fantastic. I’m so jealous!)

What I took home from my trip to Nelson, though, was the cheerfulness and the passion of the people who live there. My brother always says to me: “In Nelson, everyone is happy all the time. We’re just all so happy to be here.” It’s true. No matter where we went – restaurant, resort, rental place, museum, info center – we were always greeted with an energy that just radiated love. It was a refreshing change from Alberta’s typical disgruntled, fast paced, cold customer service. To where I seriously considered looking to moving there after I get back from Asia. A tad too crowded for me though, and too far south.

2- Celebrated Burns night. Twice.

The whole point of rushing to Edmonton from BC was to attend Fannon‘s annual (and very fun) Burn’s night. While I have very little exposure to either poetry, scottish litterature or Robbie Burns, Fannon’s parties are always a good time and it’s kinda nice to discover my scottish heritage. I didn’t pick out a poem until the night itself (it’s hard to know what I’ll want to express ahead of time – I can’t prechoose poems for readings anymore than I can plan a meal before I’m hungry) but I did do my homework by reading all about Burn’s life (of which I remember little except for that he was really into women and had a lot of kids) and studying proper Burn’s night protocol (do any informal Burn’s suppers ever follow the whole protocol?).

I ended up reciting Winter: A Dirge. Didn’t fit the mood too much (parties, when executed properly, are happy while the poem is not happy at all), but it was quite enjoyable to read out loud. More enjoyable than I expected, actually. I should read poems out loud more often.

We ended up forgetting to sing Barret’s Privateers (not protocol or even scottish, I think, but an annual house tradition nonetheless), which means that my ENTIRE YEAR of practicing in my car (that’s right, my trips to Edmonton have been three hours each way of me singing myself hoarse with The Irish Descendents blasting on the stereo) was for naught. Next year. I’ll attend the party from Vietnam via Skype and I WILL SING BARRETS PRIVATEERS.

Yes, yes, I know this bullet says I celebrated Burns night twice. Which is true. The other party was even less formal, but still, on our drive from BC to Edmonton, we stopped at the Kicking Horse Hostel in Golden (fantastic hostel, by the way – if you’re looking for a small yet friendly town to ski and party in, check out Golden and stay at the Kicking Horse Hostel) on January 25. January 25, which is the official Burns night. The hostel owner happened to be originally from Scotland, so we gathered around the bonfire with some Glayva and some Innis and Gunn to recite some verses. Our performances were more of the train karaoke variety (that’s right! Train karaoke! When you play PS2 Karaoke using a train car as your screen – the joys of having a projector and being right by the train tracks!) than classic Scottish litterature, but it was a good night as well. And what matters, really, is that the night was good.

3- Meeting David Gaider

While in Edmonton, I figured I’d get ahold of my friend Ben (@ElBne on Twitter) since it had been almost FOREVER since we’d gotten together AND because he always says he has horses. Like most girls, I like horses.

Anyway, he ended up being in town that weekend (instead of at home), which meant no horses but still much oppertunity to hang out (and introduce the boy!). We made plans for supper at New Asian Village and I didn’t think any more of it. To my surprise, he brought a friend. To my bigger surprise, his friend was David Gaider. I knew they were friends but I was NOT prepared!

I had to work really hard to avoid squealing and jumping up and down like the crazy fangirl that I am. I had just finished reading Asunder which I devoured in a total of two intense reading sessions (it was a good book) too so self-restraint was a challenge.

It was a fun supper – David Gaider is just as interesting and insightful in person as he is when he writes and Ben always livens up the party. The hours went by waaaaay too fast!

4- Discovered the hazardous world of phone games

I got hooked on Puzzle and Dragons while in New Orleans last November. Which, I think, is what happens to most people who give Puzzle and Dragons a try. Then I drowned my phone. Because my priorities are clearly in the right place, my first thought was “oh no, my game!”.

I rushed to The Source to buy a new phone, but sadly, my game was gone. So I figured I’d give another game a try. I had downloaded something called Pet Shop Story awhile back but never played it. Now was a good time.

Ugg.

Before I knew, I had 4 “story” and one “match 3″ games on the go. Like some kind of sick phone junkie, I’ve been stuck on my phone, swapping from game to game, queueing up my food, pets and clothing orders.

At least now my coworkers don’t complain anymore that I never check my phone.

5- Worked a ton

For the entire month of February, my collegue was on vacation. Because of a misfortune, she ended up stranded in New Zealand and ended up being away until into March. And because I mentionned needing some extra hours, head office relocated my relief pharmacist, leaving me alone to work the first 15 (11 hour + 3-4 unpaid hours to finish paperwork/tidy up) shifts of February. I was frustrated, hungry (most companies, including the one I work for, don’t allow pharmacists to take breaks) and sore. But at least I made a lot of money!

Even beyond that, I worked a lot. Most days, I would arrive before 9 am, then not leave until almost midnight. I missed the boy, I missed gaming, I missed writing, I missed being outside. And most of all, I really missed me. I ended up getting pretty obsessive too. Even on the few days off I had, I ended up going in to do write-ups because I couldn’t stop thinking about work.

Now that my collegue is back, I have a few days off. I was careful to make a lot of plans (am currently sitting in a hostel in Banff!) so I wouldn’t be tempted to go in. Today was a little hard to tear away, but I expect it to get better.

6- Got sick

So funny story! Within my first few shifts of February, my legs starting feeling cold. Then numb and tingly. Then my muscles got weird and tense and my ankles and knees wouldn’t bend right.

I suppose it is for the best that my MS attack happened while I didn’t have any days off. It’s hard to be on your feet for 11-16 hours without a break when your lower body is rebelling, but had I worked a lot and been healthy, I would be bitter that I wasn’t out skiing. And if I’d been sick with a lot of free time, I’d be freaking out over the waste of perfectly good days off.

While the symptoms were similar to this attack, I didn’t end up howling in the hospital, which is an improvement. I don’t know if the spasticity around my ribcage just wasn’t as intense or if I’ve become better at avoiding aggravating factors, but I was more incomfortable than in pain.

It’s been getting better too. I’m not 100% quite yet, but I will try skiing again tomorrow. Should be good times.

7- Found a New Challenge Mode Group

Ben (yes, the same Ben) comes up with the best ideas. This time, he decided to get a challenge mode group together (yes, for WoW. I still play that.) and asked me if I was interested. My last group stopped running them after our tank left us for another game and I’ve been so busy that I haven’t given it second thoughts. Of course, I was super excited.

Sunnier and Arielle, two people who I’ve kinda always wanted to get to know but never had an oppertunity to, were also on board (Ben has a lot of friends in high places, it seems). Ed (the boy) grabbed his hunter and we had a group!

We’ve been doing pretty good too: 4 golds in 3 nights (at the rate of one night per week), greatly thanks to Arielle who knows every challenge mode like the back of his hand. I’m kinda getting carried but at this point, as long as no one else minds, neither do I. They’re all very patient with my srew ups and I’m getting good practice for raids. Because my raid knows I’m desperetely in need of practice.

8- Celebrated my One Year with Cadenza

Speaking of my raid, the other day I realized that I have managed to not get kicked from Cadenza for over a year!

It’s hard for me to believe that it’s been more than a year since I died a bigillion times on that Heart of Fear sonic disk boss during my trial. From what they told me, it seems like it’s hard to believe for them too.

My relationship with Cadenza has been really different from my relationships with other guilds. Not sure if it’s because I’ve learned my lesson, or because I don’t have the flexible schedule of a student anymore or because the structure of Cadenza just doesn’t allow that sort of thing or a combination of all of the above, but I’ve been way, like waaaay less emotionally involved than ever before. I show up, do what I’m told, get kills, then log off. And I’m okay with that.

I do miss my old days of experimenting with holy pally stuff, of knowing everyone, of knowing all the fights and of telling everyone else they’re wrong, but at the same time, the lack of emotional rollercoasters is very enjoyable. I don’t know most of my guildies and I kinda feel like the stupid tag-along kid sibbling in healer chat, but I have made a few friends and I’ve had a blast at all the guild meetups I’ve been to. I even met my boyfriend through the guild, the first time I’ve ever met someone through WoW, which has got to mean something.

In case anyone was wondering, we’re working on Heroic Paragons now. A kill seems to be coming along soon, but, you know, stupid mistakes and stuff getting in the way. (EDIT: As I hit the publish button, I got a message that they killed Paragons – I’m not raiding due to shitty hostel internet. So it sounds like we’re working on Heroic Garrosh now.)

9- Bought a Juicer

I was at work the other day (because that’s always where I am – at work) complaining about how I can’t eat vegetables because they’re expensive, they taste nasty (remember I live in rural Alberta where veggies come in two sorts: frozen or rotten) and I can’t prepare them before they become unedible. Then a coworker talked about juicing.

I thought to myself: “I like juice”.

Shortly thereafter, I became the proud owner of a 70$ juicer.

Here’s the verdict: the culture surrounded juicing is targetted at people who believe anything they read on the internet (obviously, anyone who knows more than three biochemistry terms is a health expert), it’s really expensive (1 litre of store bought juice is 5$, 1 litre of juiced juice is about 15$ if you’re using anything but apples), it goes bad really fast (apparently preservatives are in food for a reason) and cleaning up takes longer than actually drinking the juice. However, the juice DOES taste a lot better than store bought juice and it is an effective way of sneaking veggies into my diet. I expect to be way less constipated now.

10- Decided to get eye surgery

Ed and I were talking about all the eye equipment I’ll need for our epic journey. Spare glasses, contacts, contact gear, prescription sunglasses… For that price I could just get lazik!

Two days later, I was at the Lazik clinic for a consult. Shortly after, I was booked for surgery on May 22 (I would have gotten in sooner but my insurance is on cooldown until then).

I’d been holding off because my eyesight isn’t stable yet, which it turns out, is not a valid reason to hold off. So yeah, I expect to be not-blind in a few months. I’m very excited!

* * *

And that concludes 10 things I was doing while not blogging!

I hope the three of you who have not given up on me are also doing well and I hope to write again within the year. Cheers!

Thok Follow Up

Posted January 5, 2014 by Ophelie
Categories: Paladinning Info, Teh paladin, World of Logs

Tags: , , , , ,

Ok so, about a month ago (shit, when did time speed up so much?), I made a post about Thok in hopes to improve my healing numbers.

The question: Did it work?

The answer: Not really.

Yes, we got the kill (would have been a one shot if I hadn’t screwed up my fixate AND unknowingly stolen a jailer key). Yes, my Devo Aura and my Hand of Protection and my Bubble helped out (Bubble really shone in the last few seconds after we ran out of CDs and people were dying without any healers being able to cast). But my numbers refused to leave their abyss.

healingnumbers

I showed a pally tank for comparative purposes. (HEY AT LEAST I OUTHEALED THE TANK!)

I didn’t do significantly more healing than my copally who (because informed consent isn’t something I’m strong at) was unaware of the experiment and who wasn’t even using the Cleave trinket. (Granted, I don’t think the Cleave trinket is as powerful for us as for our Holy Priest who gleefully reads out his Cleave heals every attempt: “8%, 10%….12%!!!” Me: “3%” – I may, however, just need to remember that I have it in my bags whenever I visit the item upgrader.) I didn’t pre-pot (that explains it all, yes!?!), but I doubt having an int buff up for the portion of the fight with the least damage going around will have the strongest effect on healing numbers.

Here’s an instant-by-instant reply of my healing compared to everyone elses.

healingflow

We got another kill last night, but I was dead for all of the third Screech phase (the stupid dinosaur didn’t have the decency to properly chase his last fixate target before turning to me, which had him standing in the middle of the room when he fixated me, cornering me and forcing me to sacrifice myself).

Not much I could do while dead.

Not much I could do while dead.

Here’s the healing graph with my pretty pink flat line:

healingflowdead

We’ve been working on Siegecrafter for the last few weeks. Not a whole lot of progress being made, we still rarely reach the first Magnetic phase with more than half the raid alive, but since us pallies are on bench duty a lot (my copally and I take turn – there is always one of us on the bench), the wipes aren’t too painful for me. I’d say it’s one of the only fights where I’m happy to only be there for half of the attempts.

And with that, I wish you all a happy New Year. May 2014 bring you many kills, much glory and bountiful shiny lootses.

The Suffering Inflicted on Holy Paladins by Heroic Thok 25

Posted December 13, 2013 by Ophelie
Categories: Paladinning Info, Teh paladin, World of Logs

Tags: , , , , ,

Raid: Your numbers suck on Thok. Make them not suck.
Me: /cry

We’ve been working on Heroic Thok for a few weeks now. The strategy has been worked and reworked, we’ve gotten into the flow of the fight and we’ll probably kill that big hungry (thirsty?) dinosaur on Saturday.

It was brought to my attention, frustratingly, that my healing numbers on that fight were, well, abysmal. I haven’t been looking at numbers lately – now that most of my cohealers consist of three disc priests and a shaman, looking at numbers is just asking for misery. (When all the disc priests are away or healing as holy, I can often squeeze into second place behind our shaman on the meters, but there’s no way I can get any impressive healing in with 3 disc priests in the raid. One cannot heal nonexistent damage and Illuminated Healing just doesn’t do the job.) But I’ll take their word for it. I’m silenced more often than not on that fight. I’ll believe any accusation of fail healing.

So. Paladin problem or player problem? And can I fix it?

Paladins and 25 Heroic Thock

The first thing I did was head over to World of Logs to see how the fight is going for everyone else. (See this post if you’re curious about my World of Logs searching procedure.)

I got rid of the Asian servers, because, well, their playing conditions are too different from ours and their logs are written funny. Then I had a look at how Holy Paladins measure up there in the US and EU.

As of today, Dec 13, 2013, in the top 800 parses, 22 were paladins (2.75%…If all healing specs were made equal, one would expect around 17% – 1 in 6 – representation). And here’s how the top 5 pallies did:

#363 with 326k hps, Dec 4.
#380 with 324k hps, Nov 27.
#561 with 299k hps, Dec 12.
#634 with 289k hps, Dec 3.
#645 with 288k hps, Dec 3.
.

If you look at the top 150 all pally ranks, HPS varies from 326k to 233k. Let’s have a look at other classes:

Disc Priests: 515k to 356k
Shaman: 458k to 314k
Druids: 380k to 278k
Holy Priests: 432k to 276k
Monks: 354k to 264k

It seems pretty clear to me that we are lagging behind, significantly when compared to Disc Priests and Shaman, and moderately when compared to the other specs. Which leads to the next question, what are the most performing Holy Paladins doing to avoid the bench?

Selfless Healer vs Eternal Flame

Out of those 22 paladins who made it to the top 800, 18 of those used the Selfless Healer style.

Honestly, having tried to heal the fight with Eternal Flame for a few weeks, I’m surprised any Eternal Flame users made it into the top. Silence much, anybody?

Quickly, I switched my talents. Then I was faced with another question. How, in the name of the light, do I heal like this?

I took the top 5 paladins (forever more known as “The Top 5″) and checked out their cast log. Thankfully, it was pretty unanimous and consistent throughout the fight:

[20:59:19.598] Light of Dawn (HoPo = 0)
[20:59:20.647] Judgment on Thok the Bloodthirsty (HoPo = 1, SH = 1)
[20:59:21.621] Holy Shock (HoPo = 2, SH = 1)
[20:59:22.644] Holy Radiance (HoPo = 3. SH = 0)
[20:59:23.506] Light of Dawn (HoPo = 0)
[20:59:24.444] Judgment on Thok the Bloodthirsty (HoPo = 1, SH = 1)
[20:59:25.454] Holy Shock (HoPo = 2, SH = 1)
[20:59:26.458] Holy Radiance (HoPo = 3. SH = 0)
[20:59:27.503] Holy Radiance (HoPo = 4. SH = 0)
[20:59:29.149] Light of Dawn (HoPo = 1)
[20:59:30.148] Judgment on Thok the Bloodthirsty (HoPo = 2, SH = 1)
[20:59:31.146] Holy Shock (HoPo = 3, SH = 1)
[20:59:32.289] Holy Radiance (HoPo = 4. SH = 0)
[20:59:33.269] Light of Dawn (HoPo = 1)

Regardless of whether the Jailer was up, or how far along they were in Thok’s screeching phase, each Light of Dawn was cast with 3 charges of Holy Power. The Judgement-Holy Shock-Holy Radiance rotation was flexible based on what was off CD (and possibly the needs of the raid). I noticed, as well, that Holy Radiance was usually cast with only one stack of Selfless Healer. (Two paladins, #2 and #3, I believe, were using two stacks of Selfless Healer during Holy Avenger. As far as I could tell, nobody else was doing that. #5 didn’t even use Judgement during his first Holy Avenger).

The Cooldown Usage

thokcds

I picked this particular screenshot because it illustrates pretty much every cooldown strategy I noticed among The Top 5.

1- Beacon of Light Swapping: 3 out of 5 moved their Beacon from tank to tank, although at different paces. Note, however, that all 5 were the only paladin healers in their raid.

2- Pre-potting: Two of them (and maybe others, WoL doesn’t always catch buffs that are cast before the fight starts) pre-potted with Int potions. 3 of them used Int potions later on, during the second or third Screech phase.

3- All the Throughput CDs, ALL OF THEM. After Heroism/Bloodlust/Timewarp (BHT): Everyone waited for HBT to wear off, then blew their Holy Avenger-Divine Favor-Guardian-Avenging Wrath combo. Based on how long their kite phase was, some (such as the paladin above) used all 4 again on the second Screech phase. Those who had shorter kite phases used only Holy Avenger and Divine Favor during the second Screech, and everyone used everything again for the third Screech. Note that all the top pallies killed Thok during or right after the third Screech phase.

Another note on the throughput CDs – my copally and I experimented with CD timing last week and it is essential to wait for BHT to wear off before popping everything. You won’t heal worth shit of you pop anything during BHT.

4- Selfless Healer Stacks: The paladin on the screenshot hit 3 stacks of Selfless Healer twice. Which, as I mentioned in the last section, seems typical among the top 5. No one seemed to really worry about SH stacks.

5- Devo Aura: I suck and forgot to show Devo Aura on the screenshot. If you wondering, this paladin used it for each Screech phase. As for everyone else, it seemed to depend how fast they moved through the fight. Those who phase changed too quickly used their Devo during First and Third, or during Second. This is something to be agreed upon among all the paladins in the raid since Devo Aura really makes or breaks this fight.

The Plan!

On the condition that I am not benched this week in favor of one shaman and six disc priests, here’s the improvement plan:

1- Selfless Healer with Light of Dawn cast at 3 charges of Holy Power. Judgement-Holy Shock-Holy Radiance-type rotation.
2- Pre-pot FTW!
3- Wait until AFTER HBT to cast ALL THE CDs.

Wish me luck!


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