Archive for the ‘Baby Paladining’ category

Adventures in and Reflections on Lowish Level Tanking

March 8, 2010

EDIT: I need to put a disclaimer on this. This post was written well over a year ago, before specialization. While tanking in retribution spec at low levels *may* be possible (after all, the instances are designed to be rather idiot-proof) in Cataclysm, I haven’t tried it myself and therefore can’t comment on it.

I love getting post requests. Not that it happens often, but when it does, it’s great. I don’t have to go through the stress of “what kind of topic should I work on, what haven’t I done too recently but that readers will still enjoy and that I’ll still have fun writing“. Plus, I know that regardless of the topic, at least someone will appreciate it. As long as I don’t screw it up too bad.

So when @amypage on Twitter asked if I would write some about tanking, I jumped up and down. Then I asked what exactly about tanking. We chatted for a bit and I found out that her retribution paladin was leveling through BC content and this was her first character. It’s always fun to give tips to people who are newer to the game because, unlike those leveling their 7th+ alt, they never write back with that “omg I totally already knew that” look.

We talked a bit about tanking in a retribution spec. Valkyrierisen chimed in, testifying that tanking in a retribution spec is indeed a lot of fun, at least until the 60s where things start to smack you a little harder.

I have to admit, I was rather clueless in that department. I tanked the early Wrath instances in my leveling retribution spec, but that was the extend of my experience. And between you (all of you) and me, when you’re going through Nexus/Utgarde Keep/AN in tier 5 tanking gear, you don’t really need any talents at all.

Never one to shy away from a challenge, I dusted off Ophelie-Eredar, level 53 retribution paladin extraordinaire.

This armor totally doesn't cover my love handles

While all of you were chitchatting with Single Abstract Noun peeps (yes, I will join EVENTUALLY but there are not enough hours in the day dammit!), I was taking care of SRS BZN. And by taking care of SRS BZN, I mean farming BRD (because APPARENTLY there are no other level 50-60 instances) and telling other leveling paladins what to do. (A former guildie of mine once gave me dating advice. He said I should wait until at least the third date before correcting everything a guy says. I answer that it was too much to ask.)
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Level 40! Time To Get That Healing Offspec

February 24, 2010

I recently received my first email asking for paladin advice. I was super excited! Strangely enough, I get quite a few emails on blogging and writing styles (which I find both flattering and amusing since I’m a noob to blogging and my English education comprises of a few English Second Language classes back in high school), but for whatever reason, I’m very rarely asked about paladin stuff.

The question was from Mike, who has recently hit level 40 on his retribution paladin and was considering grabbing a healing offspec. He was looking for some recommendations and, in my enthusiasm, I replied with a wall of text he’s probably not finished reading yet.

After I hit the “send” button, I thought it would make for a good blog post. With everyone and their cousin leveling healers in the LFD system these days, I’m sure many players would benefit from some pointers. Plus, the last time I leveled a holy paladin was 4 years ago, so I’m sure you guys have stuff to add that I wouldn’t even have thought of.

So, after the cut is how I would go about building a healer at level 40.
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Little Paladin – the Teen Years

November 6, 2009
ophi45

OMG! Gear that covers my belly!

I wasn’t planning on writing any more about leveling until level 60, but once your paladin hits 40, the game gets turned right around.

Mana issues? No more!

Dying easy? Yeah, right.

Slow boring fights? No wai!

It all picks right up around 40. Suddenly you’re fighting 5 mobs at a time, your mana bar is full and you’re not even breaking a sweat. I figured I needed to update some of the things I said in my last leveling post.

Spell/ability stuff

- Hand of reckoning followed by exorcism is still a nice way to pull, but not necessary. Now its running around, aggroing as much as possible and smacking down Consecration.
- At level 38, you learn Seal of Wisdom. Bye bye mana problems!
- Hand of Reckoning is still a finishing move, but now I kind of want mobs to run away. They bring back more stuff to kill so I don’t have to stop what I’m doing. I can just stand there and take it.
- I find myself alternating between Seal of Wisdom and Seal of Righteousness. Seems to work well.
- With now endless supply of mana and the Art of War always procced, the herbalism heal is less prominant, but still useful. Plus, the herbs in the level 30-45 zones sell for crazy amounts.

Talents

- The Pursuit of Justice/Divine Intellect build did give that extra oomph until level 38 when I got Seal of Wisdom. Up to you if you want to go that way then switch back to full ret at 38.
- I went like this at level 40. Mana isn’t a problem anymore so I went Art of War before Judgements of the Wise.
- Eye for Eye only works if you get critted. I sampled my combat log a few times and decided that I didn’t get critted enough for it to be worth the two talent points.
- Glyphs are pretty much the same, Judgement and Consecration.
- The minor glyphs were too expensive to be worth it on the server I play my little pally on, but I’d go with Might for now and maybe Sense Undead if I decide to spend a lot of time in the Plaguelands.

Gear

- After level 40, I wouldn’t bother with buying gear unless you find something very sexy, very cheap. But for the most part, you’re tough and strong enough to pwn faces without spending money on gear.
- I’ve been prioritizing Strength and it seems to work well for me. For some reason, Strength and Spirit often come together. I don’t get it, but it doesn’t matter.

Level in Style and Don’t be Broke

- I didn’t manage to get Dual Spec at level 40. I broke 1000g at level 43 and then I didn’t see the point in spending it all on dual spec.
- Level 30-45 zone herbs sell like hotcakes for nice prices.
- Medium/Heavy/Thick leather doesn’t sell for a whole lot, but it sells quickly and is easy to get, especially if you’re leveling in Stranglethorn Vale.
- Large Fangs sell strangely well for high amounts. Just to let you know.

PVP

- Ah! Leveling on a PVP server! I did get griefed by an 80 mage in Badlands. I got annoyed so I reported him on WoWJackass. I doubt they accepted my complaint since the site is more about loot ninjas and rude puggers and besides, getting griefed by 80s is part of the pvp server game, but it still felt good to whine.
- I got killed a few times by a Warrior in STV as well, but that was it. I don’t think lowbie ganking is all that common anymore since all the high levels are busy with bigger and better things on different continents. So all you people hiding away, it’s safe to come out in the open!
- I looked up some of the 80s I encountered on the armory. Is it further perpetuating stereotypes to say that both of the 80s that killed me were wearing greens while the T9+ people just ignored me? (One of them even let me live after I inadvertently killed her quest giver.)
- Some silly warlock my level tried to kill me. Ha! It was my first “OMG I’m so awesome” moment.
- I really need to get back into the BGs for some more “OMG I’m so awesome” moments. I’m all about feeling awesome.

And thus my little one pursues her journey in the vast unknown. Well, sort of unknown. Oh, and one thing I forgot to mention. I did say that at 40, the game picks up and stuff starts dying all around you. However, as easy as the killing gets, your experience bar breaks down and won’t budge. Be forewarned!

Tips on raising a healthy young paladin

October 24, 2009
He's a lap penguin

He's a lap penguin

My little one hit level 30 last night! (Well, she actually hit 32, but 30 flashed an achievement on my screen and I’m all about things flashing on my screen.) Being the loving, maternal person that I am (don’t choke from laughing please), I tend to think of levels 1-30 as the kiddie stage, 30-60 as the teen years and 60-80 as the young adult too-old-to-be-living-at-home-but-doing-it-anyway stage. So my precious little one is off to WoW highschool and to celebrate, here are the tricks I’ve stumbled upon while learning to raise level a paladin in this day and age. (Please note that I’m not consulting any leveling guides, so I may be repeating or contradicting what others say. This is all based on my experience and thoughts.)

Spell/ability stuff

- From a distance, hand of reckoning followed by exorcism will take a chunk of health off a mob before it even reaches you.
- Even talented, the CDs on judgments are annoying. Make sure you keep yourself active by hitting the space bar all times.
- Consecrate uses a crapton of mana. Judgment of wisdom doesn’t cover it, but its still the best judgment option, IMO.
- When mobs run away, you temporary fall off their aggro list. You can finish them off with hand of reckoning. I actually prefer this to judgment of justice. Whenever they’re running, they’re not hitting you.
- Seal of justice doesn’t proc enough in pve to be useful, in my experience. You’re better off sticking with righteousness. It’s nice in pvp though.
- Level herbalism for the heal. You won’t have mana and time to waste to heal yourself.

Talents

- Unless you plan on leveling holy or prot in instances (I wouldn’t recommend it – you have to play at peak server times to find groups and even then, its inconsistent), grab Pursuit of Justice as fast as you can.
- If I were to respec, I would go like this, basically grabbing Seals of the Pure and Divine Intellect instead of all the crit and damage bonuses in the ret tree. At least up until level 40 when you can get Judgments of the Wise. Mana is THAT much of an issue.
- Actually, I think I’ll go do that now.
- Eye for Eye is a debatable leveling talent. I think I may try it around level 40ish. You get critted a lot at low levels and it’s great passive damage when you’re fighting several mobs at once.

Glyphs

- Glyph of Seal of Righteousness would be a great leveling glyph in theory. In practice, you need to be level 50 to use it. I don’t know if I’ll be using other seals by then, so my n00b purchase is currently sitting in my bank.
- Glyphs of Judgment and Consecration are the way to go. I got Consecration first because it was cheaper, but they’re both fine, it’s up to personal preference, really.
- When consulting the AH, bid on glyphs that have 1s50c as their start bidding price. If you win them, resell them for 7g. That’s what I do.

Gear

- Seth from One Copper spoke about buying leveling gear on his testshow and advised against in the lower levels. While he does make a good point, I’ve found that buying leveling gear is pretty useful in certain conditions. Buy the stuff going for fairly cheap (don’t get the 100g blue, but consider the 20g blue). Being able to do and take more damage allows you to do high level quests faster, hence speeding up the leveling process. Buying gear also gives you the choice of the stats you want instead of having spirit forced down your throat by quest givers. Blue gear will also last you several levels, which is nice.
- I finally understand why there is so much low level mail gear with both strength and intellect on it. It’s not weird, it’s hella useful.
- If you’re lucky enough to have friends on your new server to run you through stuff, pay attention to the green drops from high level instances. When they’re decently itemized, keep them stored in your bank until you can use them. It will ensure you have gear replacements every time you ding.

Level in style

- Another reason to buy gear is to level in style. Just because you’re playing on a secondary server is no reason to neglect your toon.
- Get your paladin mount at level 20.
- I plan to get dual spec at 40 BECAUSE I CAN.
- Get a few vanity pets. Leveling gets lonely without them.
- Level your cooking, first aid and fishing as you go. Fishing really slows you down though, so I admit I’ve been neglecting it.

Don’t be broke

- Like I suggested earlier, whenever you’re at the AH, scan through and bid on 1s50c glyphs, when you win, you can sell them back for more.
- Have herbalism as one of your professions, both for the heal and for the tons of cash you’ll make off it.
- Have another gathering prof or inscription as your other profession, they’re lucrative to level. I’d go with mining over skinning, unless, like me, you’re super sick of mining.
- Sell all your greens on the AH. I sell my greens under level 20 for 99s, level 20-30 for 1g99s and level 30-40 for 2g99s. I could probably sell them for more, but the low prices mean I generally sell them the first time around and don’t have to worry about reposting or deposits.
- Once you don’t need it for first aid, sell your cloth on the AH. You could also skip first aid, but I like the fast, manaless heal between fights.
- Sell stuff like naga scales, low level gems and spider silk on the AH. People will actually buy it.

PVP

- Leveling on a pvp server isn’t that bad before level 30. I don’t know what its like beyond level 30 yet. Most of the people I’ve fought were follow hordies in duals.
- Battlegrounds are super fun at low level! Your lack of spells as a paladin just has you running circles around people without hitting any buttons, but you still do decent damage.
- I switch between seal of justice and righteousness depending on who I’m fighting. I get more complaints in duals when I’m using seal of justice and my rule of thumb in pvp is that the more an ability annoys your opponent, the better it is.
- Battleground experience seems to make low level pvp much smoother. I’m not struggling with getting one-shotted like I did before BGXP.
- No matter what level, battlegroup or faction you’re part of, your team will always be full of “noobs” and “morons” and your BG leader will be throwing a hissy fit the entire time while no one notices. Just in case you were wondering.
- Ding 30 in a BG. Do it, its an ultimate ego boost.

And that, dear friends, is my report on getting a paladin through childhood. Now for taking on the terrible teens as my paladin experiences the world outside the deserted Hillsbrad Foothills and deals with issues like gear barely covering her thighs, bad influences from higher level toons and trying to take on too much, too soon. Now, if you’ll excuse me, she wants me to take her to get her hair dyed.

Doing it again after all these years

October 12, 2009

I play Alliance on Moonrunner. Several classmates of mine play Horde on Eredar. After over a year of feeling left out, I decided to join them. However, I’m not ready to give up on my guild (and 25 man raiding for that matter) just yet. Besides, when you live off student loans, you can’t justify spending 55USD for a server/faction change. So did I do the logical thing and roll a DK on their server to play during offtime? Nope! I did the silly thing and rolled a cute, teeny tiny little pally. Isn’t she adorable? (I admit, its hard to see after my great MS paint photo editing) I wish I wasn’t drowning in midterms while trying to keep to raiding 4-5 times a week because I want to play her ALL THE TIME.

My time has been very limited, so I made it as far as level 23 over the past 2 weeks, squeezing in a quest whenever I could.

Silvermoon starting area

Since I’ve been rushing, I’m unfortunately missing most of the scenery. The quests are your typical “big cats hurt us, go kill 10 of them” or so it seems. Silvermoon City, though? Wow! Seems like I’m playing a whole different game! One of the things I love about WoW is the zone diversity. The different factions each have a unique culture that you can immerse yourself in. Having never played a blood elf, I couldn’t stop gawking at the pretty walls, the purple drapes, the cool looking inns. Yes, yes, it looks just like Magister’s Terrace (and possibly Sunwell – I’m not ‘leet enough to have seen that) but it’s so much much much bigger! It’s like Magister’s Terrace everywhere! I love it!

The bloodthistle is a nice touch too, an interesting highlight of blood/high elf arcane tenancies.

Leveling the Modern Paladin

I remember when slow, boring and leveling a paladin went together. Up until level 20, it hasn’t changed much. Looooong cool down on judgment and no other attacks. Judge, let auto attack take over and go make yourself a coffee. Luckily, you don’t need much experience to level anymore so you reach level 20 before you lose your mind. Talentwise, I moved up the ret tree to grab Pursuit of Justice as early as I could. Even with mounts as low as level 20, any kind of speed bonus is godsent.

For my professions, I grabbed skinning and herbalism. A girl’s got to make a living. The herbalism bonus is surprisingly nice. You would think that a paladin doesn’t need another heal, but a strong, instant cast HoT that requires no mana? Yes please! Skinning I took up because I’ve already leveled mining 3 times and never want to see another mining node for the rest of my life. In case you’re wondering, I’m making more from selling flowers than from selling skins, which is to be expected considering the professions that use either mats.

Playing on a PVP server for the first time

I guess I can’t really comment on that yet. At level 23, I’m just stumbling in Hillsbrand Foothills, I’ve only ran into two Alliance, both were far too busy to make the detour to kill me. What I have noticed, though, is among my faction, people seem way friendlier than Moonrunner’s Alliance. I don’t know if its an Eredar thing, a Horde thing or a PVP server thing, but I constantly receive random buffs, help on difficult quests and inquiries about my willingness to run SFK. Oh and I did run SFK. The group was laughable, the melee warlock ninja quit after the first boss and I think I was the only person there over the age of 12, but I completed three quests and got a decent cloak for my efforts. I can’t complain too much. A couple of years ago I was the one who had no clue whatsoever as to what was going on. And pretty much all of the low level dungeons are designed so you can 4 man them with hunters wielding +strength swords and no ranged weapons anyway. Trust me, I’ve done it.

So all in all, I don’t really expect to hit 80 anytime soon, but playing a new character on a new server feels strangely refreshing. Leveling a paladin again also feels like some sort of repentance. An apology for doing it so badly the first time. May I be forgiven.


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