Posted tagged ‘holy paladin’

Some Links

September 11, 2012

Double O Podcast Special Edition

The rumours are true! Oestrus and I got together last night and recorded a shiny new episode of The Double O Podcast!

With Mists coming out in a few weeks and both of us anxious to be raid ready as soon as possible, we thought it would be fun to interview a Realm First – Level 80 feat of strength holder (and remember! While the grind to 85 was accomplished by many in under 15 hours, the grind to 80 took a solid 48 hours, if not more, making the achievement even more impressive).

So! For a tad over an hour, we chat with the awesome Serrath (who, in addition to being quite knowledgeable about productive and healthy gaming marathons, is also a really fun guy. You can’t help but want to be friends with him.) about how to get to 90 as quickly as possible, without risking our health or our sanity.

If you haven’t heard it yet – the Holy Paladin Roundtable

I promised a link and I didn’t deliver… I hang in my head in shame.

Hopefully you’ve all (yes, including non-holy paladins… the awesomeness of the Light must be experience by EVERYONE) found your way to the show, maybe via Twitter, maybe via another blogger. But just in case, just in case you haven’t, before Mists comes out, treat yourself to the sweet delight that is The Holy Paladin Roundtable.

If you prefer a more visual link, consider clicking this:

Big thanks to Walks for the gorgeous collage! (ps. It’s almost scary how much I look like myself and like my character in that image!)

Mists is almost here, have you found your guild yet?

My guild, Occasional Excellence, still has a few spots open on our roster. We’re a high efficiency guild, raiding 2 nights (or 7 hours) a week, but making the most of every second. (And you know that if they manage to satisfy an impatient, detail oriented, perfectionist like me, they’ve got to be good people!) We do 25s, we’re all adults and we were killing Heroic Madness before it was cool.

We’re especially looking for a resto shaman and a shadow priest, but we’d welcome most dps classes (except maybe hunters and ret pallies because everyone plays hunters and ret pallies these days).

Our standards are pretty high, so the application process can be demanding, but, trust me, it’s worth the effort! We’ve got a solid team, a highly organized leadership and a very positive raid environment. And while we only raid 2 nights a week, there are a lot of optional events every week for those who just can’t get enough.

Sound like a group you’d be interested in? Find out more on our website: http://occasional-excellence.com/.

You can get in touch with me via email as well, and add our guild on Twitter: @OExcellence
(Our Twitter page is still a work in progress, but I’m hoping to make it more active soon)

And even if it doesn’t sound like a group you’d be interested in, I highly encourage you to read our About Us page. (I wrote it and worked hard on it, so I want to show it off ^_^)

’till next time!

*returns to the offline world*

MoP Holy Paladin Pre-Raid (Almost) Comprehensive Shopping List

August 26, 2012

When I found out that I was to spent Mists of Pandaria release week in a hotel room on the other side of the country, with a stranger looking over my shoulder at all times, I could have cried. I so wanted to be raid ready as soon as Vaults became available. Whether I’ll pull it off or not, I don’t know, but, the Light as my witness, I will put all chances on my side.

First step, easing the gearing process with a shopping list. And since I’m not going to spend 24+ hours making a list without bragging about it, the list is getting a front page spot on the blog.

How The List Works

Gear is divided by slot (logically) and is listed more or less in order of desirability. I have a stat priority of:

Spirit > Intellect > Haste > Mastery > Crit

I suspect that mana regen (which grants wonderful mana freedom) will be the sexiest stat when it comes to pre-raid gear. Once we get more geared, once we get more in tune with our mana supply and, kind of importantly, once the rest of the raid gets more geared, I expect the throughput stats will be more interesting. Whatever happens, though, gearing will always be about finding that sweet spot between bigass heals and the eternally replenishing mana bar.

Not All of This Will be Available at Launch

Right. But overlooking the unavailable items until they’re released is a heck of a pile easier than updating the post every few weeks. And you guys know me. I hardly ever update a post.

How do I get the Reputation or Crafting Items?

You’ll have to either find a reliable guide or discover for yourself once MoP goes live. I dug around a bit, but the information relating to Reputation and Crafting is a little nebulous at the moment. (It sounds like the currency formally known as Valor/Justice points is now used to purchase Rep.) I’m expecting the clouds to have lifted by the time I’ve hit level 90 and am ready to use my own shopping list.

What About PvP Gear?

I included the pieces that you can get (according to Beta’s Dungeon Journal) from the World Bosses (Sha of Anger looks like the new Vault of Archevon while Salyis’ Warband seems like a regular raid encounter but I included loot from both, just in case) but I left out the rest because I really, really, really doubt I’ll be PvPing to gear myself to raid. Besides, everyone knows where to find PvP gear.

Some of the PvP pieces, even the craftable PvP pieces, are surprisingly kind of not bad. I know that raiding with any kind of resilience on you is dirty and shameful, but honestly, some of the PvP gear is better than some of the non-PvP gear.

Is This a Best In Slot (BIS) List?

It is not. This is a pre-raid shopping list. It’s not even a pre-raid BIS list. Without any MoP raiding experience, it’s very hard for me to guess exactly what’ll be the bestest of the best for stepping into Mogu’Shan Vaults. I listed everything in order of what I’d try, but think of it less as a rigid “You must do this” and more as a spectrum ranging from “Impress your team with this piece!” to “If you’re down on your luck, you can show up with this and not get flayed. Much.”

Now on with the show.

Head

1- Six Pool’s Open Helm (Rep: Shado-Pan – Revered)
2- White Tiger Headguard (Tier Raid Finder: Terrace of Endless Spring – Sha of Fear)
3- Crown of Keening Stars (Raid Finder: Mogu’Shan Vaults – Elegon)
4- Casque of Expelled Corruption (Raid Finder: Terrace of Endless Spring – Protectors of the Endless)
5- Crown of Ranging Invasion (Pandaria World Boss – Salyis’ Warband)
6- Crown of Holy Flame (Heroic Scarlet Monastary: High Inquisitor Whitemane)
7- Masterwork Lightsteel Helm (Blacksmithing)

Note: Engineers also have access to Specialized Retinal Armor

Neck

With Spirit
1- Stomphowl Pendant (Pandaria World Boss: Salyis’ Warband)
2- Mending Necklace of the Golden Lotus (Quest Reward: Vale of Eternal Blossoms – The Final Power)
3- Links of the Lucid (Rep: The Klaxxi – Revered)
4- Korven’s Amber-Sealed Beetle (Raid Finder: Heart of Fear – Wind Lord Mel’jarak)
5- Zian’s Choker of Coalesced Shadow (Raid Finder: Mogu’Shan Vaults – The Spirit Kings)
6- Mindcapture Pendant (Heroic Mogu’Shan Palace – Xin the Weaponmaster)
7- Necklace of Disorientation (Heroic Shado Pan Monastary – Sha of Violence)
8- Mindcapture Pendant (Normal Mogu’Shan Palace – Xin the Weaponmaster)
9- Tiger Opal Pendant (Jewelcrafting)
10- Pendant of Endless Inquisition (Rep: Golden Lotus – Honored)

Without Spirit
1- Worldwaker Cachabon (Raid Finder: Mogu’Shan Vaults – Will of the Emperor)
2- Dorian’s Necklace of Burgeoning Dreams (Unsure…Random Drop?)

Shoulders

1- White Tiger Mantle (Tier Raid Finder: Terrace of Endless Spring – Lei Shi)
2- Spaulders of the Emperor’s Rage (Raid Finder: Mogu’Shan Vaults – Will of the Emperor)
3- Shoulderguards of Painful Lessons (Heroic Scholomance – Darkmaster Gandling)
4- Masterwork Lightsteel Shoulders (Blacksmithing)

Other (no spirit): Paleblade Shoulderguards (Rep: Golden Lotus – Revered)

Back/Cloak

With Spirit
1- Sagewhisper’s Wrap (Rep: Shado Pan – Revered)
2- Malevolent Gladiator’s Drape of Meditation (Pandaria World Boss: Sha of Anger)
3- Cape of Three Lanterns (Raid Finder: Mogu’Shan Vaults – The Stone Guard)
4- Drape of Gathering Clouds (Raid Finder: Heart of Fear – Blade Lord Ta’yak)
5- Dirl’s Drafty Drape (Unsure, probably random world drop)
6- Cloak of Hidden Flasks (Heroic Stormstout Brewery – Hoptallus)
7- Pressed Flower Cloak (Rep: The August Celestials – Revered)

Without Spirit
1- Cloak of Overwhelming Corruption (Raid Finder: Terrace of Endless Spring – Protectors of the Endless)
2- Malevolent Gladiator’s Drape of Prowess (Pandaria World Boss: Sha of Anger)
3- Malevolent Gladiator’s Drape of Cruelty (Pandaria World Boss: Sha of Anger)

Chest

1- Chestplate of Limitless Faith (Blacksmithing)
2- Battleguard of Guo-Lai (Rep: Golden Lotus – Revered)
3- White Tiger Breastplate (Tier Raid Finder: Heart of Fear – Grand Empress Shek’zeer)
4- Chestplate of the Forbidden Tower (Raid Finder: Heart of Fear – Imperial Vizier Zor’lok)
5- Chestguard of the Unbowed Back (Pandaria World Boss: Salyis’ Warband)
6- Living Steel Breastplate (Blackmithing)
7- Bonded Plate of the Golden Lotus (Quest Reward: Vale of Eternal Blossoms – Battle Axe of the Thunder King)
8- Swarmbringer Chestguard (Heroic Gate of the Setting Sun – Raigonn)
9- Mind’s Eye Breastplate (Heroic Mogu’Shan Palace – Xin the Weaponmaster)
10- Swarmbringer Chestguard (Regular Gate of the Setting Sun – Raigonn)
11- Masterwork Lightsteel Breastplate (Blacksmithing)
12- Mind’s Eye Breastplate (Regular Mogu’Shan Palace – Xin the Weaponmaster)

Bracers

With spirit
1- Malevolent Gladiator’s Bracers of Meditation (Pandaria World Boss: Sha of Anger)
2- Bindings of Ancient Spirits (Raid Finder: Mogu’Shan Vaults – Gara’jal the Spiritbinder)
3- Inlaid Cricket Bracers (Unsure, likely random raid drop. Linked to Raid Finder version here but also exists in regular and heroic version)
4- Masterwork Lightsteel Bracers (Blacksmithing)
5- Siegeworn Bracers (Heroic Siege of Niuzao Temple – General Pa’valak)

Without spirit
1- Fallen Sentinel Bracers (Rep: The August Celestials – Revered)
2- Bracers of Inner Light (Rep: Golden Lotus – Honored)

Gloves

1- Gauntlets of Unbound Devotion (Blackmithing)
2- Gauntlets of Jade Sutras (Rep: The August Celestials – Revered)
3- White Tiger Gloves (Tier Raid Finder: Heart of Fear – Wind Lord Mal’Jarak; non-raid finder version also drops from Pandaria World Boss: Sha of Anger)
4- Grasps of Panic (Raid Finder: Heart of Fear – Garalon)
5- Living Steel Gauntlets (Blacksmithing)
6- Malevolent Gladiator’s Ornamented Gloves (Pandaria World Boss: Sha of Anger)
7- Mindbinder Plate Gloves (Heroic Shado-Pan Monastery – Taran Zhu)
8- Masterwork Lightsteel Gauntlets (Blacksmithing)
9- Gauntlets of Restraint (Rep: Shado-Pan – Honored)
10- Mindbinder Plate Gloves (Regular Shado-Pan Monastery – Taran Zhu)

Belt

1- Mender’s Girdle of Endless Spring (Raid Finder: Terrace of Endless Spring – Tsulong)
2- Malevolent Gladiator’s Clasp of Meditation (Pandaria World Boss: Sha of Anger)
3- Girdle of Delirious Visions (Raid Finder: Mogu’Shan Vaults – The Spirit Kings)
4- Quivering Heart Girdle (Heroic Shado-Pan Monastery – Master Snowdrift)
5- Girdle of Soothing Detonation (Heroic Siege of Niuzao Temple – Vizier Jin’bak)
6- Masterwork Lightsteel Belt (Blacksmithing)
7- Quivering Heart Girdle (Regular Shado-Pan Monastery – Master Snowdrift)

Pants

1- Ambersmith Legplates (Rep: The Klaxxi – Revered)
2- Legplates of Sagacious Shadows (Raid Finder: Mogu’shan Vaults – Feng the Accursed)
3- Sudsy Legplates (Heroic Stormstout Brewery – Yan-Zhu the Uncasked)
4- Valiant’s Shinguards (Rep: The August Celestials – Honored)
5- Masterwork Lightsteel Legplates (Blacksmithing)

Note: The Tier legs White Tiger Greaves are a little odd with no spirit. I wouldn’t go for them as my first resort, but if you want them to complete a set bonus, you can find the token on Amber Shaper Un’sok in Heart of Fear and the non-raid finder version drops from Pandaria World Boss: Sha of Anger.

Boots

1- Firerider Treads (Pandaria World Boss: Salyis’ Warband)
2- Bramblestaff Boots (Rep: The August Celestials – Revered)
3- Sollerets of Instability (Raid Finder: Terrace of Endless Spring – Tsulong)
4- Intemperate Greatboots (Quest Reward: Townlong Steppes – Remnants of Anger)
5- Malevolent Gladiator’s Greaves of Meditation (Pandaria World Boss: Sha of Anger)
6- Barreldodger Boots (Heroic Stormstout Brewery – Ook-Ook)
7- Glintrok Sollerets (Heroic Mogu’Shan Palace – Gekkan)
8- Masterwork Lightsteel Boots (Blacksmithing)
9- Glintrok Sollerets (Regular Mogu’Shan Palace – Gekkan)

Rings

1- Steaming Seal of Flame (Pandaria World Boss: Salyis’ Warband)
2- Malevolent Gladiator’s Band of Meditation (Pandaria World Boss: Sha of Anger)
3- Watersoul Signet (Raid Finder: Terrace of Endless Spring – Protectors of the Endless)
4- Circuit of the Frail Soul (Raid Finder: Mogu’shan Vaults – Gara’jal the Spiritbinder)
5- Seal of the Profane (Raid Finder: Heart of Fear – Amber-Shaper Un’sok)
6- Wicked Witch’s Signet (Unsure, likely Halloween event)
7- Feng’s Ring of Dreams (Raid Finder: Mogu’shan Vaults – Feng the Accursed)
8- Viscous Ring (Heroic Gate of the Setting Sun – Commander Ri’mok)
9- Beastbinder Ring (Heroic Scarlet Halls- Houndmaster Braun)
10- Band of Blood (Jewelcrafting)
11- Sorcerer-King’s Seal (Rep: Shado-Pan – Honored)
12- Mending Mark of the Golden Lotus (Quest Reward: Vale of Eternal Blossoms – The Secrets of Guo-Lai)

Trinket

1- Relic of Chi Ji (Darkmoon Card of the Mists)
2- Qin-xi’s Polarizing Seal (Raid Finder: Mogu’shan Vaults – Will of the Emperor)
3- Spirits of the Sun (Raid Finder: Terrace of Endless Spring- Tsulong)
4- Scroll of Revered Ancestors (Rep: Shado-Pan – Revered)
5- Jade Courtesan Figurine (Unsure. It comes in Raid Finder/Normal/Heroic, but it is not listed in the dungeon journal. The name sounds like Jewelcrafting)
6- Empty Fruit Barrel (Heroic Stormstout Brewery – Ook-Ook)
7- Vial of Ichorous Blood (Heroic Siege of Niuzao Temple – General Pa’valak)
8- Price of Progress (Heroic Scholomance – Darkmaster Gandling)
9- Thousand-Year Pickled Egg (Brewfest Event)
10- Blossom of Pure Snow (Rep: Shado-Pan – Revered)
11- Jade Magistrate Figurine (Unsure. It comes in Raid Finder/Normal/Heroic, but it is not listed in the dungeon journal. The name sounds like Jewelcrafting)
12- Mountainscaler Mark (Unsure)

Note: Don’t take the trinket order too seriously. I ranked them using the very sophisticated technique of eyeballing. If someone were to test and theorycraft these trinkets, the results might be somewhat different.

Weapon

With Spirit
1- Kri’tak, Imperial Scepter of the Swarm (Raid Finder: Heart of Fear – Grand Empress Shek’zeer)
2- Tihan, Scepter of the Sleeping Emperor (Raid Finder: Mogu’shan Vaults – Will of the Emperor)
3- Carapace Breaker (Heroic Gate of the Setting Sun – Raigonn)
4- Masterwork Forgewire Axe (Blacksmithing)
5- Carapace Breaker (Regular Gate of the Setting Sun – Raigonn)

Without Spirit
1- Loshan, Terror Incarnate (Raid Finder: Terrace of Endless Spring – Tsulong
2- Amber Saber of Klaxxi’vess (Rep: The Klaxxi – Exalted)

Shield

1- Eye of the Ancient Spirit (Raid Finder: Mogu’Shan Vaults – Gara’jal the Spiritbinder)
2- Masterwork Lightsteel Shield (Blacksmithing)
3- Metanoia Shield (Heroic Scholomance – Jandice Barov)
4- Shield of the Protectorate (Heroic Gate of the Setting Sun – Raigonn)
5- Shield of the Protectorate (Regular Gate of the Setting Sun – Raigonn)

Happy hunting!

Making the Jump from 10s Casual to 25s Progressive

March 2, 2012

My silence about transitioning to a new guild wasn’t exactly intentional. I’ve written a few drafts, but can’t get them sounding the way I want. I tweak them until I get angry and have to go for walks to calm down. I get a lot of exercise, but no post about guild searching and guild joining.

I do love the new guild. The raids are fun, the environment is motivating and the officers do an amazing job of making sure everything runs smoothly and yet still found time to go out of their way to make me feel at home.

What I want to talk about, though, is my performance and the adjustments I made in transitioning from Teamsport, a 10s casual guild, to this team, a 25s hard mode guild.

It’s been over a month now. I wish I could say I’m awesome and the transition was easy and that I got 25s heroic healing mastered on the first click. Well, I guess I could say it, but I’d be lying. It took me several raids and a lot of advice from my heals lead as well as the other holy pally in the guild before I could perform at the same level as the other healers. And, over a month later, there are still fights where my logs are totally embarrassing.

A 10s casual group and a 25s progressive group have different needs and call for a style of healing that is unique to them. I hate the terms “harder” and “easier” because I don’t find one style inherently harder or easier than the other. 10s casual demand you compensate for the weaknesses or indifference of others if you expect to kill anything, 25s progressive require that you push to take your place or else you’ll find yourself carried for a short while and eventually dropped.

Let’s define “Casual” and “Progressive”

It’s like philosophy class! “To each essay, each word’s meaning

“Casual” and “progressive”, in the raiding sense, have very relative meanings.

When I think “casual” I think of this: teammates show up and play well, but most don’t go out of their way to review logs, talk strat, minmax. Raids are less time efficient with waits between pulls and random afks. Fights are done on normal mode with maybe one or two heroic kills at the very end of the tier. Motivations are mostly social, with some loot bonuses.

“Progressive”, to me, means that every individual on the team has kills as their top priority. (They can have secondary priorities too, of course.) Motivation is mostly kills, with some loot bonuses. Teammates do go out of their way to enhance their performance and the pace between pulls is more, lets say, dynamic.

Casual to progressive (or hardcore) is a spectrum with a handful of guilds on each end and most somewhere in the middle. What I’m doing, and what I’m talking about, is moving along the spectrum from a position leaning more toward casual, to a position leaning more toward progressive.

Your job and how it changes

No matter which environment you’re playing in, your job as a healer is this: first keep your assignment alive and secondly, when you can, help others keep their assignment alive.

How this translates into practice depends on the environment you’re playing in. In a less focused team, you’ll be dealing with a lot of extra damage due to mistakes, slow reaction time and, if you’re unlucky, a tank (or fellow healer) who went to the bathroom during the fight and didn’t tell anyone. In a team aiming for progression, there’s less damage going around, and if you falter, other healers will jump to back you up. However, if you falter and are covered for often, you will quickly find yourself expelled from the team for not doing your part.

Then, in 10s, you’re dealing with limited bodies. If your fellow healer goes down (or to the bathroom), you’re on your own. In a 10 man group, you need to be able to work well as a team, but you also need to know how to cover the entire raid should you find yourself in the, very likely, position of single healing. In a 25 man group, you’ll rarely be on your own, so developing team skills tops the to-do list.

Communication, the key to all relationships

During my first raid with Teamsport my tank died.

He got out of range and no one covered for me.” I complained.

The reply I got?

Why didn’t you say anything?

I came to Teamsport from a 25s progression guild. I was used to having people automatically jump in when they saw a need. Eventually I learned to speak up again (and my fellow healers in Teamsport did get better at reading healthbars). When I went back to 25s progression raiding, I was delighted to have people jumping in when they saw a need again, before I had to say anything.

Don’t get me wrong, communication is always important. But in 25s, voice chat gets overwhelmed quickly, so you have to prioritize. Do this absolutely need to be said out loud or is there another way I can communicate this? Can it be typed in healer chat after this fight?

In 25s, you communicate a lot via raid frames. I can tell if fellow pally is having trouble healing her tank by how he’s gone a few seconds without being topped off. I can tell fellow healer is out of mana because the blue light on her healthbar came on. I know who the Beacon targets are in the raid, because my little Beacon icon is showing. Since you can’t afford for everyone to crowd vent with details of their situations, we can rely on addons (and macros, which I need to get working on, myself) to communicate for us, leaving us with only select information to share via voice chat.

Cooldowns

On my application I wrote “one thing that I’m very proud of is that I use my cooldowns on, well, cooldown.

After my first raid with the guild, the majority of the feedback I received was that I needed to improve my cooldown usage.

No, I didn’t lie on my app. What happened, and this took me by surprise, is that with Teamsport, I used my cooldowns based on need. So whenever I sensed my fellow healers falter, whenever I felt the tank slacking on his cooldown usage, whenever there was a potential for extra damage, the cooldown buttons were pressed. This happened so often that my cooldowns were getting used as soon as they came up.

With the new guild, that sense of urgency never came (my first few raids with them were 10s alt runs, so this is a casual vs progressive thing, not a 10s vs 25s) and thus I had to make a mental effort to use them.

The key in 25s progressive is to get the cooldowns going early on to boost healing and save mana and, most importantly, ensure they’ll come up again before the end of the fight so you can use them more than once. Lay on Hand, I save for OMG moments and Aura Mastery, I make sure not to use within the 2 minutes before I’m called upon to pop it, but everything else now gets pumped out as early as possible, and again as soon as it’s ready.

Last week I won an award for “best use of healer cooldown” (which was an awesome surprise!) so it seems that the mental effort is paying off, but I still have to actively think about cooldown usage.

Single targeting vs HOLY RADIANCE LOVE BAYBEE!

The first time I did Heroic Ultraxion, my numbers were terrible. They were terrible because I was conditioned to thinking “the tank will die if I don’t OMG spam Diving Light on him ALL THE TIME“.

This was another lesson.

Damage in Firelands, at least on 10s, went like this: one person takes damage, then someone else takes damage, then someone else takes damage. My Divine Light finger became twitchy and I came down with a fear of not spamming Divine Light. Dragon Soul is more “everybody taking lots of damage all together, like friends“. Still, in 10s, I concentrated on the tank with the occasional raid heal while my cohealers took care of the non-tanks.

In 25s, though, there is so much splash healing that the tanks rarely need Divine Light spam. Divine Light spammers like me end up with a lot of overheal and very little effective healing.

The key?

Holy Radiance all the time.

Ok, maybe not all the time. Heroic Blackhorn, from the logs I’ve read, is not primarily a Holy Radiance fight. Heroic Ultraxion and Heroic Zon’ozz (two fight where I found myself way below the other healers on the meters) are Holy Radiance fights. I checked my shitty H-Zon’ozz log against another paladin’s awesome H-Zon’ozz log. The major difference? I used Holy Radiance 14 times. The other pally used theirs over 114 times. I think we’ve found a problem!

Mana Management

114 Holy Radiances“, you say, “but what about the mana?!?!

Interestingly, I rarely run out of mana anymore, even when overdoing it on the Holy Radiance. And when I do, I can regen it no problem.

I can think of a few reasons for that. First, when you’re running with a progressive group, you’re killing more things, which means you get more gear. I have more mana regen now simply because I’m better geared. The fights are also a lot shorter. Fights that took up to 12 minutes with Teamsport only take 6 minutes with this team.

Then, because in 25s there are at least 4 other healers pumping out awesome heals, there are more opportunities to use cheaper Holy Lights, or melee a bit, or pop Divine Plea, or drink a Concentration Potion.

So while I still shouldn’t be wasteful with mana, I do have more ressources now to really milk the Holy Radiances.

Conclusion

To each essay, its conclusion.

There are certainly other differences I’ve adjusted to in transitioning from wiping all night on Zon’ozz to wiping all night on Heroic Zon’ozz (though Heroic Zon’ozz went down pretty fast last week…it seems like my Zon’ozz curse may end!). However, communication, cooldown usage, spell selection and mana regenaration are those that stood out to me and that I constantly think about as I’m raiding.

I still have good fights and bad fights. I still make a lot of mistakes. I even started making mistakes I’d never made before (I had never died to Hour of Twilight until I joined this guild, and now I die at least once a week. How embarrassing!). But I’m determined to push myself as far as I can go, and to eliminate the bad fights.

Holy Radiancing our Heroic Ultraxion kill

Love is in the Paladins: Updating the Blogroll

December 16, 2011

The ol’ blogroll was due for a good scrubbing.

I did the sad task of deleting all the blogs that hadn’t been updated for a bit over a month, then took on the daunting mission of finding the new and promising paladin blogs waiting to be discovered.

I swear that finding new pally blogs gets harder and harder. I do come across exciting new blogs…only to have them die before they’ve been around long enough to link to.

Don't DIE! (Note: No paladins were injured in this screenshot. Character is not a paladin.)

And it seems that new bloggers are getting shyer about advertising themselves.

New pally bloggers, I beg of you, stop making my blogroll task so difficult dammit. I want to find you, so quit it with the hiding!

The Goodbyes

I was pretty merciless in my pruning. Whether they were friends, or bloggers I didn’t know too well, I hit the “delete” button for when I noticed that their last post was over a month ago.

The one blog that did make me do a double take was Paladin Shmaladin. Notice I didn’t link to it? I had noticed their lack of posts, but I wasn’t expecting to find a “page does not exist” when checking the blog.

I never liked Ferraro (oh yes, I am totally mean girls!). The content was often questionable, and, mostly, the writing style had always been a little…off… To the point that when it was revealed that the writer(s) behind Paladin Shmaladin had been stealing someone elses identity, I couldn’t understand why anyone was surprised.

But, in all fairness, Paladin Shmaladin had some excellent moments.

I have to give at least some respect to the person who posted the rotations of every spec of every dps class using game icons, to prove that ret paladins weren’t the most faceroll class out there. I can’t imagine how many hours that took. The guides, while usually not very accurate, were still the best illustrated and easiest to read in the blogosphere. And, most of all, Paladin Shmaladin provided us with the most fascinating blog drama I’ve ever witnessed in the WoW community.

So in thanks for the countless hours of entertainment, I give a goodbye salute to Ferraro and Paladin Shmaladin.

Welcoming the new general paladin bloggers

In the general paladining category, you can now find a link Ask Mr Robot. Mr Robot isn’t paladin exclusive, and I’ve yet to really use the resource myself, but it comes highly recommended as a starting point reference. New to your class and want a basic idea of how to build it before giving yourself a headache deciphering Elitist Jerks? Ask our friend Mr Robot.

I also added Miri’s blog Guarded by the Light. I’m actually not sure why it wasn’t already there… She was our pally tank rep on The Double O Podcast’s Tanking Roundtable, and is fluent in both Protection and Holy. She writes about general WoW topics as well, making her an excellent addition to any feedreader, paladin centric or not.

Welcoming the new Holy bloggers

As usual, Holy is the most active link list. I’m not sure if I just stumble across Holy blogs more than Ret or Prot blogs because I’m Holy, or if it’s just that us healer-types are chattier.

I added the podcast My Epic Heals. It’s not paladin centric, but Eade is a paladin (his blog, My Pally Heals, used to be on my blogroll, but I had to take it off for inactivity. Don’t panic though, the podcast is still going strong!), and they are healing-centric.

We’ve also got Amowrath joining our ranks with The Light’s Wrath. Out of all the holy bloggers who’ve opened shop since my last update, Amowrath is one of the two that are still among us. Head over to his page, give him some love, and convince him to stick around!

The other holy paladin blogger is Dreamy from Drunkard’s Regalia. Her style is completely unique, and, in my opinion, a refreshing change from the many more formal blogs out there. She’s fun, bouncy, and a tad gory. If you’re looking to add some spice to your blog reading, Drunkard’s Regalia is a good place to start.

Oh, and I fixed the link to the Paladin forum at Plus Heal. You can now use it again!

Welcoming our new Retribution brother

We have a new retribution blogger! And a good one at that! Chronicles of a Casual (and don’t let the name fool you, he is a raider, a dps paladin, and informative) fills in a huge gap in the paladin community by writing, with a teachy approach, about his adventures as a ret pally, both in raids and with the target dummy. Considering that I’ve slowly been learning retribution as an offspec myself, I’ve been following his blog in earnest, excited to see what he’ll show me next.

I added a link to Rel Pal too, a great resource for beginner Ret pallies (like me!) as well as more intermediate ret pallies.

Welcoming our new Protection sister

Bravetank is, well, bravely, leveling a tank through Azeroth’s deep dark dungeons. She shares her observations, be they about tanking or about the people she meets or about the general game in frequent, juicy, meaty posts. If you’re leveling a tank too and want some chicken soup for your soul, or if you just like to read solid blog posts, you’ll love Bravetank.

And non-Paladin links!

I don’t usually do a lot of maintenance on the non-pally blogs. Deciding which ones I’m going to link is always frustrating. My paladin blogroll is already quite long and if I added all the blogs I read, we’d have the list that never ends (yes, it goes on and on my friend). I aim for active blogs on general topics and/or blogs of more personal friends (because, yes, it’s my blog and if I want to play favorites, I’m totally allowed).

So I added Clockwork Bard. If you’re a long time WoW blog reader, you might recognize the writing style of More Bars Than You‘s Skip Cocoa. He’s a close irl friend of mine, and more importantly, a fantastic writer with an endless imagination. And thus Clockword Bard appeared on the blogroll.

The other blog I added is Healer by Nature by my guildy, raid leader and friend (I hope!) Thespius. Normally I’d require a tad more frequent posting for a blogroll listing, but because Thes is awesome, he gets to be an exception.

Know other Pally blogs that I need to list?

As mentioned in my intro, I’m totally open to shameless self promotion. Us pallies need to stick together and the only way we can do that is if we know each other.

As long as a blog is written in a paladin perspective, has been alive for a couple of months and has been active in the past month, there is a spot on my roll for it.

By the Light!

Holy Paladin Pre-Raid Gear You Don’t Need Luck For

June 23, 2011

I know this is kind of strange timing what with 4.2 just around the corner and all, but I’ll do my best to integrate the new gear in this list and I’ll (hopefully, ha!) update as I get more information.

In case you were wondering, this list was spawned from another post I was writing, where I caught myself listing every single piece of non-instance gear. So if you’ve just dinged 85, are rolling in gold and rep and want to give yourself a head start for heroics, this post is for you.

Or if you’re just loocking to replace a sticky piece and want a quick reference, this post is also for you.

As for the post that spawned this one, it may or may not see the light of day, depending on my motivation.

How this list works

This is all gear that doesn’t come from dungeons or raid bosses. There are some BoEs from raids, but you should able to get your hands on any of these through having a lot of gold, gathering rep, crafting or PvPing. (I did, however, include quest rewards that may involve killing a 5-man boss.)

Each slot is sorted by 4.2 PvE, current PvE, PvP (4.2 and current mixed) and gear requiring a profession. Each subsection is more or less sorted by ilevel. The pieces are not listed in order of usefulness. You’ll have to use your own judgement to decide which ones you prefer. (General rule for PvE is that Spirit and Haste are preferred over Crit and Mastery. If you don’t know whether you want Spirit or Haste, you probably want Spirit.)

As usual, if you notice any mistakes or linkage errors, you’re welcome to yell at me. (But only a little bit.)
(more…)

Spending those hard earned Valor Points (Holy Edition)

February 22, 2011

Now that I’m not raiding on a regular basis, I’m suddenly very, very conscious of my valor points. While I wasn’t lucky with the RNG in the month and a half I was killing a lot of raid bosses (I didn’t see a single plate drop, not one!), I still hoped. Now my mantra is: If you’re a good girl and do your random heroic every day and pug your Baradin Hold once a week, every month or so you can choose a new piece of gear.

Since every Valor Point is precious to me, I’ve been very, very careful with the order I spend them in. Don’t want to buy a piece of gear I might replace later on in the week. Eventually I was able to make a list of the items I wanted, in the order I wanted, as an occasional raider who has intermittent access to raid loot.

(more…)

I Bet You All Want Me to React to 4.0.6a

February 13, 2011

Paladins
* Beacon of Light no longer triggers from Light of Dawn.

- Blizzard, Feb 11, 2011

There’s this weird pressure that comes from being a class blogger. I’ve never been one to keep up on the news. (What are patch notes?) Yet whenever something happens, a couple of people look at me (via email, twitter or in game whispers) from the corner of their eye, to see how I’m going to react.

So I bet you all want to know how I reacted when I found out about Friday night’s nerf (I found out from Kurn of course, do I look like a blogger who reads Blizzard?). For your entertainment pleasure, here’s a time-line of events, starting with time 0 being when I processed the information:

0 sec: /facepalm
5 sec: OMG HOW COULD THEY?!? I’M SO MAD GODDAMN BLIZZARD QQ
30 sec: Wait a minute, I’m only a part-time/backup raider. And my 10 man team comp doesn’t really let me use Light of Dawn (LoD) anyway. These changes don’t change much for me.
1 minute: SHIT! Now I have to update my Beacon technique post. GODDAMN IT!
2 hours: Hey, I should test these changes. Wait a minute. My LoD are transferring through beacon. I WAS LIED TO.

That said, I only had one person to group with, so I don’t know if all the LoD heals transfer through to Beacon or it just one heal transfers. Those of you with more friends than me should test it and tell me about it ;D.

EJ seems to having the same experience as me.

(more…)

Beacon of Light Strategies

January 27, 2011

A common complaint of holy paladins is about their healing leads. About their healing leads blindly telling them where to put their Beacon of Light (BoL).

When told by a healing lead where to put my BoL, I’ve always retorted with where that healing lead can put my BoL, with proper anatomical references and the issue would be closed for the reminder of my time with that healing lead. (I’m joking of course- the more effective the communication among members of a healing team, the better the team performs. If you have a game plan for your BoL that conflicts with your leads’, just say so.)

Fact is, optimal placement of BoL is strategic. It always has been to an extend, but until recently, you could get away with “beacon the tank and spam heals around“. Most of the time at least. Now that Beacon only transfers half of a heal, getting the most out of its use isn’t as straightforward.

These days, you’ll want to know a few things before deciding where to put your Beacon (or, if you’re a healing lead, before risking being told where to put your Beacon assignments):
- Damage patterns
- Number of holy paladins in the raid
- Everyone else s healing assignments.

If you’re healing with other paladins, you’ll want to make sure you track all the Beacons in the raid. If a teammate isn’t cooperating with the current BoL strategy in place, you need to know so you can adjust according.

A Little Background on Beacon

Beacon of Light is a buff you can put on yourself or on another party or raid member. It transfers half (50%) the value of each of your heals onto the player with the BoL buff. So, if you have Beacon on Mary and cast a 3000 heal on Jack, Mary receives a 1500 heal through Beacon. Beacon doesn’t care about effective and overheal, 50% of the total heal with transfer.

One paladin can only have one Beacon active at a time, but one player can be buffed with several Beacons from several paladins at a time (in other words, Beacons stack).

Most paladin heals (direct heals, Light of Dawn, Protector of the Innocent, Enlightened Judgments and, if you’re reading this before 4.0.6, Lay on Hands) transfer through Beacon. However, heals received by the person with the Beacon don’t transfer. If you cast your 3000 heal on Mary, she’ll only receive the 3000 health from that heal. (I think they did transfer at some point, but we’ve since been hotfixed).

An added feature to BoL is via the Tower of Radiance talent: directly casting Divine Light and Flash of Light on your Beacon target will give you one (1) charge of Holy Power. (The tooltip still mentions Holy Light, but the tooltip is a LIAR.)

Strategy 1: Beacon the tank (or your single target assignment) and heal around

This was the strategy of choice during Wrath, but thankfully we can be a bit more creative now, at least in raids. 5 mans generally don’t give us a lot of options: you’ll almost always want your tank Beaconed so you can stray and heal the dps (or yourself!) as needed and not worry about the tank turning into a smoothie.

In any setting, the biggest advantage of this trick is building up Holy Power faster with the Tower of Radiance talent, given you cast Divine Light or Flash of Light on your Beacon target/tank/singe target assignment. It can also come in handy on fights where you might temporarily be out of direct healing range of your target. The range on Beacon transfers is 60 yards from the target of your heal, while direct heals only reach 40 yards. So if your assignment pops out of range, dumping a Divine Light on someone standing between you and your assignment, can make the difference between a kill and a wipe.

There are two main disadvantages to this strategy. The first is that Beacon of Light only transfers 50% of a heal. Damage in Cataclysm, especially in raids, is intense, so straying from your assigned target is risky. The second is that heals on your Beacon target don’t double up. So by direct healing your Beacon target, you’re wasting a lot of potential healing.

Situations where I like to use this strategy:
- 5 mans.
- When raiding with an uncooperative or communicationally challenged paladins.
- When being out of range of my assignment is very likely (have yet to encounter a fight where this situation applies… maybe Ascendent Council, but I still prefer cross-beaconing for that fight)
- When assigned to raid/melee healing on fights with high tank damage (Magmaw, Valiona)

Strategy 2: Cross-Beaconing

Cross-Beaconing is when you have two paladins, each assigned a separate target. The paladins each direct heal their own target and Beacon their teammate’s target. Alternatively, a solo paladin variant is to direct heal your target and have another tank (or target taking a lot of damage) Beaconed.

While you’ll be getting a lot less Holy Power from Tower of Radiance using this strategy, you’ll get extra healing output. Having some cushion heals on your target from your teammate is also helpful in case you have to move/get out of range/scratch your leg.

Even when I’m the solo paladin (ok, that has yet to happen in Cata, but lets pretend it has), I like having my Beacon on a tank I’m not currently assigned to. Healing my beacon target for reasons other than charging up Holy Power just feels like a waste.

Situations where I like to cross-beacon:
- 2 tank fights, when I’m tank healing
- Raid trash
- Fights with a lot of movement and two paladins.

Strategy 3: Beacon Stacking

You’ll need at least one other holy paladin for this one. Beacon stacking is when two or more holy pallies Beacon the same target and heal a different target. This strategy works by constantly bombarding the target of multiple beacons with small, but very frequent, heals. As you may imagine, this trick is best used on targets taking damage too frequently to be healed at a conventional pace.

Fights where I like to Beacon Stack:
- Halfus (Beacon stack on the drake tank)
- Chimearon, when tank healing (Beacon stack on the main tank)

Strategy 4: DPS Beacon

I rarely use this one, but it has its moments. Instead of putting your Beacon on a tank, you put it on a dps, preferably one who has trouble healing itself.

Sitautions where I’d pick a DPS Beacon target
- When damage isn’t really aggro based (Cookie in Deadmines, those exploding wisps in Vortex Pinnacle before finding high stam Cataclysm gear)
- When perfectly-timed raid healing is crucial (when healing a party on Chimareon)

A Note about Beaconning Yourself

During Wrath, there were a few times when Beaconing yourself was an awesome trick. Last phase of Sindragosa normal mode or Putricide any mode, for example. This doesn’t translate to Cataclysm: unless you’re spamming Divine Lights and pumping out Light of Dawns, Protector of the Innocent offers as much or more self-healing than a Beacon would. Beaconing yourself, therefore, is a huge waste of healing.

Conclusion

The first time we faced Halfus sporting our blues and greens that probably wouldn’t have even gotten us through heroics, we had our arses handed to us. With both hands. Especially our drake tank. When I looked at parses from guilds who had killed Halfus, I discover they were doing something we weren’t, and it wasn’t wearing content-appropriate gear. It was Beacon stacking. The light shone, the little naked angels sung. We Beacon stacked on our drake tank, and Halfus toppled over dead.

The moral of this story is that Beacon strategies can make or break a progression fight. Too often, Beacon positionning is left out of healing discussions, or worse, assigned inappropriately. So be vocal about your Beacon use. Be vocal with your healing lead, with your fellow pallies, with your fellow healers and even with your entire raid team.

It’s like they say, “the better the Beacon brainstorming, the smoother the raid“.

Holy Paladin Reforging

December 22, 2010

Don’t we all love questions with no clear answers?

I’ve had a few people ask about reforging. Each time, I make my way to Elitist Jerks.

At first, the answer I got from there was “Definitely Haste. All Haste all the time OMG yes.

Then I went back and got the answer “Haste is nice, but Crit packs a better punch.

When I looked closely, I also saw “How about Mastery? Can we give Mastery a try?

Then I spoke with paladins who don’t frequent the various resources and received an overwhelming: “Moar Spirit plz!


For the time being, reforging isn’t a black and white issue. And I hope it stays that way- I love paladin healing right now: it feels as if each successful paladin has their own style and adapts in their own way to different content. Which is how healing should be. I don’t know about the rest of you, but the constant adjustments to fit each unique situation is the whole reason I fell in love with healing in the first place.

Love story aside, I’m going to take a look at the different reforging options. If you want a “do this” answer, scroll down a bit and you’ll find some reforging suggestions to fit your paladining lifestyle. And if you read all the way to the end, I’ll let you in on my personal strategy.

I’m going to inspire myself from the debate in the Holy Paladin thread on Elitist Jerks as well as use my own experiences to weigh the pros and cons. Two Three weeks into the expansion, I’ve done countless heroics, with pugs of all skill (and common sense) levels as well as guild groups, I’ve killed Conclave of Wind on 10 man, 25 man kills are Halfus (X2) and Argaloth (I’ve done quite a bit of log parsing from other guilds for Halfus too, to see how other healing teams are handling the fight), with a some wiping experience on a few other 25 man bosses. The only area I haven’t investigated much is the world of PvP, so you die hard PvPers are unfortunately on your own for this.
(more…)

An “In-Practice” Take at the Holy Paladin Nerfs

December 15, 2010

By now, pretty much every holy paladin blogger has posted their thoughts, comments, disdain and disgust about Tuesday’s holy paladin changes. In case you’ve been missing out, here’s what happened:

- Holy Light doesn’t pump up your holy power bar anymore when you cast it on your beaconned target.
- Light of Dawn, an already weak spell with the exception of how it transferred nicely through beacon, had it’s healing reduced by 40% so the beacon transfers don’t give healing envy to Word of Glory.

The rationale is that paladins have too much mana and are relying too much on the “pump up Holy Power via Holy Light and use Light of Dawn transfers to bomb the tank” strategy.

On the mana part, if you’re rubbing your eyes, I don’t blame you. When I started running heroics a few days ago, the idea of “too much mana” would be have had me laughing until my sides hurt. But, now that I’m decked in heroics gear and running with other heroically geared players, I kind of have to agree. Holy Light, with it’s low mana cost and long cast, becomes basically free with enough passive mana regen.

As for the “Light of Dawn abuse“, well, it was nice while it lasted. According to Tuesday’s raid logs, with a mix of 333-349 ilvl gear and 25 man raid buffs, my Light of Dawn was hitting individual targets for ~ 8k, occasionally critting for ~ 15k. Which looks great, but considering that everyone had over 100k hp and were taking insane damage left and right, LoD was actually crap for raid healing. Where it shone was through beacon. Say my LoD hit 5 targets for 8k for a total of 40k. Half of that (so 20k) was transferred to the tank, which is more than my ~15k World of Glory could heal them for.

How the changes affected my heroics healing

In all honesty, they didn’t. I kept the same “Holy Shock on cooldown, then Holy Light unless massive damage” strategy I used before. I couldn’t use Word of Glory as often, but, meh, other than making me crave haste (the instant cast component of WoG is nice), it didn’t matter. With heroics gear, Holy Light is basically free and Word of Glory is a weak spell. When my group didn’t screw up, I still ended fights at nearly full mana. I even started using Holy Radiance on cooldown.

How the changes might affect 25 man raiding

I raided Sunday and Monday, but I won’t get to test the changes until Thursday night. It’s difficult for me to predict how it’ll affect raiding. At our last attempts, our offtanks were too undergeared and our raid team too undisciplined (we have a lot of new guildies who are on their first raids with us and aren’t used to our ways) for me to get a clear idea of Cataclysm 25 man raid healing. Our attempts on Halfus Wyrmbreaker were under 2 minutes long and my tank was getting smacked with 40k-60k hits every 2 seconds.

To (attempt to) keep up with that kind of damage, I was using Holy Shock on cooldown and otherwise spamming Divine Light. Light of Dawn was a good option when I had at least 4 people in front of me (which didn’t happen often) so I might notice a loss there. Holy Light wasn’t in the equation at all when it came to healing in raids.

A Return to Wrath Healing?

We have too much mana… To which Blizzard responded by attacking the very mechanics they wanted our class to use. With our glorious passive mana regen untouched and with Word of Glory and Light of Dawn being so weak, I can see us going back to single or double spell spamming pretty quickly.

Aunna at Bandage Spec made some excellent suggestions that could solve our problem of being overpowered without ruining our new and improved playstyle. I have some suggestions of my own:

1- Nerf our specialization – 50% of mana regen from spirit is too much? Bring it down to 40%, or 35%.
2- Raise the mana cost and effectiveness of Holy Shock – Right now Holy Shock doesn’t do much beside give us holy power. It helps a little bit with raid healing, but that’s about it. Make it more expensive and more useful and it’ll put a dent in our mana bar.
3- Reduce the mana back from judging Seal of Insight or increase the cooldown on Judgement – Seriously, 3500 mana every time I use an 8 second cooldown spell? For real? No wonder my mana bar is full!
4- Increase the mana cost of Holy Light – It’s too cheap? Make it less cheap.
5- Buff Light of Dawn, but don’t let it transfer through beacon - Light of Dawn is a really week spell without the beacon component. With the amount of health people have, you couldn’t even notice the 8k heal. (Fannon as well as a few others have mentioned this too)
6- Make it harder to stack holy power, but buff Word of Glory – I don’t care how free and instant Word of Glory is, it’s not powerful enough to be worth working for. If it healed, for like, say 30k, I might be tempted to put some effort into getting 3 stacks of holy power.

So final words, if you’ve been worrying about the nerfs, you can relax. They haven’t affected us a whole lot. But! I can see the nerf bat heading our way again shortly, so gear up and farm heroics while we still have it sort of easy.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,970 other followers