Posted tagged ‘retribution’

Coping Methods 101

August 12, 2010

As I’ve been QQing a lot about lately, my summer job has taken over my life and 12 hours away from home every day means I usually don’t get back in time for the raid. You know how bloggers left and right are talking about end of expansion burnout and how they’re desperately looking for motivation to play? Well, that’s not me.

These days, I hate anyone who’s unemployed, anyone who’s ever bored (whatever that word means!) and, most especially, anyone who takes their raid spot for granted.

I’ve been going through all the coping methods imaginable. I’ve been listening in on vent when I’m able to catch the tail of raids (I actually bawled my eyes out when they killed H Putricide 25 for the first time without me). World of Logs has taken over as my bedside novel. I check the guild forums obsessively when I’m home and awake (which is a whole hour a day, usually).

Then last Tuesday, a miracle happened and I got a day off. I was thrilled. Until I logged on to find out that the raid was already full. Must…not…rage…disconnect…must…not…rage…disconnect…

But some people got shuffled around so I could get spot. I sighed with relief. I know the mature, altruistic thing to do would be to bow out since I’m not a regular raider anymore, but to hell with being mature and altruistic. I rarely complain over loot, I try hard to keep my arguing to a minimum and I’m relatively polite, most of the time. When it comes to my raid spot, though, I’m as selfish as it gets. So I happily zone in.

Then my computer proceeded to vomit all over me.

And when I managed to get back into the game, my computer proceeded to vomit all over me again.

And again.

I accepted to leave the raid. I couldn’t contain my furor so I did what I always do at times like that:

I went and spent a lot of money.

Yeah, that’s right.

I dug through my collection of ret gear and got a set together. My bags, I swear, could be featured on that TLC show, Buried Alive. My set is actually pretty decent for someone who hasn’t played retribution since Naxx.

I plugged in some strength gems, slapped on a few enchants and I was good to go.

I figured I’d start with something easy… There was a Mount Hyjal pug in trade chat…

I’m proud to say that I outdpsed the level 70s! Don’t rain on my parade, friends. And no, I didn’t screenshot the recount to prove it.

You’d think that having a decent tanking background would help with melee dps, but let me tell, it doesn’t. When you’re tanking, the mobs kinda stand on top of you. If you move, they follow you around. Not so much when you’re dpsing.

And I kept getting these weird error messages “Out of range” and “Target must be in front of you“. What is THAT supposed to mean?

Still, I stuck in there and moved my way up to level 80 heroics.

That’s me on top there. And I’m happy to announce that my retribution dps is slightly above my tank dps.

Now if only I could get over the knee-jerk reflex of hitting my healing buttons whenever I take damage…

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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Shared Topic: Surviving PvE as a Melee DPS

January 29, 2010

Oh dear, another shared topic that’s out of my reach. Not because I’ve never played a melee DPS- I do go retribution once in a blue moon. It’s rather because every time I wave a two-hander around, my screen immediately looks like this:

Never fear, though, for through these extremely enriching and mind opening experiences, I have learned a thing or two about surviving in the PvE world as a (dead) melee DPS! When your face spends more time on the floor than staring at boss crotches, your beloved teammates begin to trample your dead self with insults and threats. You see the line “You have been removed from the group” more often than you read Chuck Norris, anal and gay bar jokes in trade chat. Your illustrious Guild/Raid/Melee DPS leader pulls you aside and explains that you must either learn to stay alive or leave the guild. Yes, it’s very difficult to survive PvE as a (dead) melee DPS. Fortunately, I know how to do it.

I’m excited to share with you today my take on Skip‘s Shared Topic suggestion. 5 Tips Surviving PvE as a (dead) Melee DPS is what I’ll call it. For more technical, more insightful and clearly less useful takes on the topic, I strongly urge you to check out the thread on Blog Azeroth.

Now down to business:

1- Get a “HEAL!!!!111one!” Macro

Sample of heal macros:

/s Heal!!
/y Heal!!
/g Heal!!
/p Heal!!
/ra Heal!!
/bg Heal!!

You can use one, several or, preferably, all of those lines in your heal macro.

Next, drag your macro down to your bars, or hotkey it, or mousebind it, however you happen to play the game. Just insert this macro into your regular rotation and all will be good. Every healer you encounter will thank you for it! There’s nothing healers appreciate more than being reminded that you exist and require heals.

2- Train Your Mind: Upon Dying, Your First Thought Should Always be “Who Can I Blame?”

This is an extremely important reflex. Your teammates, they are quick to yell at you the second your face hits the floor. They’ll blabber nonsense like “why can’t you get out of the fire?”, “control your aggro!”, “learn to play!” and a few lines that don’t meet the PG-13 rating of this blog. To get you started, here are some examples of people you can blame:

The Healer(s): Obviously they weren’t paying attention to your macro. Or to your health bar. When in doubt, blaming the healer(s) is a safe bet.

The Tank(s): If you suspect you were killed by a mob, then it must mean your tank(s) couldn’t carry aggro in a bucket! Quickly inform them of this. If you group with them again, be sure to call out “bucket check!” before the first (or every) pull.

The Last Person Who Was Targeted by a Boss Ability Before You Died: Another fair bet, the last person getting Legion Flamed or targeted by Orange Goo must not have reacted quickly enough and killed you. It’s important to call this out on vent, using the most accusatory tone you can muster. If your teammates do not believe you, just repeat yourself, speaking louder. They’ll believe you eventually.

The Raid/Party Leader: They didn’t tell you to move or stop attacking! They need to learn to communicate better. Inform them of this.

Blizzard: This fight is fundamentally discriminatory against ret paladins. It was designed for you to die and rack up a repair bill. So what if the other retribution paladin survived? They just got lucky with the RNG. Or they’ve got connections with Blizzard.

Your ISP/Computer: This is the lamest excuse, but when all else fails… There’s not a whole lot they can say when confronted with your enthusiasm for raiding but current difficult financial situation forbidding you from purchasing a new computer or switching to a reasonble ISP. Make sure you never let your guildmates know when you buy a new computer or they’ll suspect something. Lag lag lag lag. How you’ve gotten me out of trouble over and over and over again!

3- Heroics: Kick Them Before They Kick You

If you read blogs at all (and if you’re reading this, obviously you do), you know that kicking is common practice in random heroics. Heck, if you’re a melee DPS who dies often, you’ve likely experienced this firsthand. A lot. Therefore, it’s important to watch that little “dungeon finder” debuff. As soon as it runs out, vote to kick whoever seems like they’d be the most problematic. That mage who does too much DPS. The snarky healer who expects you to eat after a rez. If everyone is silent in the group, vote to kick whoever happens to have the highest gear score. (Note: Gearscore is an absolutely essential addon when it comes to survival as a dead melee DPS.) Gear with the green “heroic” label on them also warrants an insta-kick.

4- Run a Lot of Heroics to Get Your GS Up

As mentioned in my last point, if you’re to survive as a dead melee DPS, you need to get the Gearscore (GS) addon. Then, just chain heroic after heroic. As you accumulate badges, purchase T9, T10 and other gear from the vendors. Don’t worry about spreadsheets or potential DPS or whatever. You’re dead all the time, so who cares about that? You can even buy offspec gear if you feel like it. The point is to get the highest ilvl gear possible.

Once your GS is close to or above 5k, advertise it in trade chat. 5.3k GS pally LF good group daily random! At the beginning of each instance, be sure to point out everyone’s GS, especially if its lower than yours. If anyone criticizes you for dying, point out that you have 5k GS and are clearly amazing.

5- Talk. Constantly. I mean, Constantly.

It has been brought to my attention that chatty rogues are not a phenomenon exclusive to my guild. In fact, they are fairly common. Why? Because, rogues, in their squishy, squishy leather, die all the time and have learned to attract attention elsewhere. Your death will be completely forgotten if the raid is suddenly busy listening to you argue with the rogues over set bonuses. Or criticizing the positioning on the current boss. Or rambling about whether Sunday night is a good time for an alt run. Or sharing who would win if Taylor Swift and Beyoncé got into a jello wrestling match.

And there you go. Armed with this information, you are now fit to survive in the harsh, cruel world of PvE as a (dead) melee DPS! All thank you messages can be directed with donations to my (imaginary) paypal account.

Divine Sacrifice in 3.3: What You Need to Know

December 12, 2009

It’s no secret, I love gimmicky spells and Divine Sacrifice (affectionately, DS) gives me my money’s worth. It got changed with 3.3 (I don’t like to think of it as nerfed) and the patch notes are, um, interesting, to say the least. I did play around with some math when the changes to DS were first announced, however further changes have outdated that post (WHICH I WILL NOT LINK) and I don’t think it’s worth fixing. What is worth doing, though, is compiling the important stuff for reference purposes. Because, you know, if it concerns paladins, then it’s important. (Duh!)

The changes that went live, copied and pasted from the patch notes, are as follows (skip this if you don’t care):

Protection
* Divine Guardian: This talent no longer increases the amount of damage transferred to the paladin from Divine Sacrifice. Instead it causes all raid and party members to take 10/20% reduced damage while Divine Sacrifice is active. In addition, the duration has been changed to 6 seconds, however the effect does not terminate when Divine Sacrifice is removed before its full duration.
* Divine Sacrifice: Redesigned. The effect of Divine Sacrifice is now party-only and the maximum damage which can be transferred is now limited to 40% of the paladin’s health multiplied by the number of party members. In addition, the bug which allowed Divine Sacrifice to sometimes persist despite reaching its maximum damage has been fixed. Divine Sacrifice will now cancel as soon as its maximum damage value is exceeded in all cases. Finally, damage which reduces the paladin’s health below 20% now cancels the effect early.

This left us with the following end result:

You better work you stupid picture that I spend tons of time cutting and pasting

What this means in plain English:

The damage redirected to the paladin by Divine Sacrifice is party-only, covers up to 30% of the party’s damage and maxes out at either twice the paladins health (assuming a full party) or when the paladin’s health is at 20%, whichever happens first.

When specced into Divine Guardian as well, hitting the Divine Sacrifice spell also offers a raid-wide 20% damage reduction for 6 seconds, regardless of whether or not Divine Sacrifice is canceled.

Also, while bubbling during Divine Sacrifice (Bubble Sac!) used to increase the damage redirected to the paladin beyond the paladin’s health cap, this is no longer the case. As a result, the spell is somewhat less effective, even within a party.


So what do we do with this?

Before I say anything else, I want to point out that Divine Sacrifice (DS – 1 talent point) and Divine Guardian (DG – 2 talent points) are connected and are respectively 10 and 15 points into the protection tree, meaning that a paladin will have to go at least 17 points into the protection tree to get full benefit from the spell.

Retribution paladins

Elitist Jerks has concluded that the DS/DG is not worth speccing into for PvE. DG is just too far down the prot tree and DS isn’t useful enough on its own. They recommended going up the holy tree for Aura Mastery when the urge for a utility spell strikes. PvP is a different story, with one point into DS being fine.

Protection Paladins

Theck from Maintankadin suggests getting the DS/DG talents and using the following macro to take advantage of the 20% raid wall without taking unnecessary damage:

#show
/cast Divine Sacrifice
/in 0.5 /script CancelUnitBuff(“player”,”Divine Sacrifice”)

Note that you might need an Ace2 addon to get the macro to work, but most players will have at least some addon installed with Ace2 included. There is an alternative macro, however you will have to hit it twice for it to work:

/cast Divine Sacrifice
/cancelaura Divine Sacrifice

Using Divine Sacrifice without canceling it immediately can also be a strategy for paladin tanks willing to spare their party damage, but it is best used while not main tanking something.

Holy Paladins

I haven’t found any buzz about recommended spec changes. I have been wondering whether many holy paladins would take advantage of the “nerf” do Divine Sac to move into a Holy/Ret spec for the extra crit, but it seems like everyone is sticking with their current specs. What can I say? We love our utility.

Raid leaders

Because of the party-only effect of Divine Sacrifice, placing paladins who use the spell for the party damage mitigation in separate groups is ideal. Alternatively, placing 2 or 3 such paladins in the tank group for extra CDs is another strategy.

The party effect of DS will cancel if the casting paladin’s health drops below 20%, so the paladin will have to bubble in order to get full benefit from the spell. The bubble cooldown is 5 minutes (barring tier bonuses) and DS has a 2 minute cooldown.

Anything to add bossy paladin blog person?

Now that DS can’t kill us, we can use it without bubbling and keep the spell on cooldown, which is very nice. It lets us fit it into our regular fighting so we don’t have to save it for special abilities or OMG ITS ALMOST A WIPE moments. The spell is more effective if we bubble, but I like the freedom of being able to adapt as needed. One can never be too flexible.

Also, I was looking at some post-3.3 raid stats. One of our ret paladins who is still specced into DS (but not DG) did do some reasonable mitigation (40kish) during a Deathwhisper fight. This isn’t the time or the place to compare the usefulness of DS and Aura Mastery in a retribution build, but there’s room for thought (unless the discussion already took place in the 200 pages of retribution discussion on EJ that I didn’t read).


Where can I find more information on this amazing topic?

3.3 Patch Notes: http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/patchnotes/
Divine Sacrifice Spell on WoW Head: http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=64205
Divine Guardian Spell on WoW Head: http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=53530
Elitist Jerks Retribution thread: http://elitistjerks.com/f76/t68951-retribution_updated_3_3_a/#Talent_Options
Caer Morrighan’s 3.3 Retribution take: http://morrighan13.wordpress.com/2009/12/10/retribution-paladins-in-patch-3-3/
Maintankadin 3.3 spec thread: http://maintankadin.failsafedesign.com/forum/index.php?f=1&t=26864&rb_v=viewtopic
Rhidach’s takes on 3.3 for Tankadins:
http://rhida.ch/2009/12/10/the-definitive-divine-sacrificeguardian-macro/
http://rhida.ch/2009/12/08/patch-3-3-for-tankadins/


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