Paladin progress? At an end?

February 20, 2010 at 9:29 am (althattery) (, , , )

No! It is just beginning to get fun.

Galgamesh hit 80 earlier last night, in the only fitting way – in the middle of tanking an instance. Ahn’kahet. In fact, the first boss she fought at 80 was Prince. But not in the Blood Princes version, thankfully.

After a bit of scurrying around, getting a Titansteel Shield Wall, getting stuff enchanted with Defense, getting capped, she’s run a few heroics – and thanks to Mach, Hhol, and Azureangel taking turns healing, several regular Trial of the Champions.

She has The Black Heart, on her first night of being 80, before she even has a single piece of T9. This seems wrong, and either presages greatness, or a titanic disaster of gearing.

Mu wa ha ha ding!

But now maybe we can go back to Huntering and some more thoughtful posts.

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This is threatening to turn into a Newbie Tank Blog.

February 4, 2010 at 9:55 pm (althattery) (, , , , , )

Adventures In Babysitting Tanking! I guess I’ll have to write a bit on Being A Hunter … and I think I even found a niche. I’ve discovered that recently a lot of people talk about a lot of things on my mind and what I want to say, has been said (contra-DPS bias, people calling BS on people saying WoW Is Easy**) – the idea of “what to write” (other than just expressing myself on the subject for my own fun writing about it) is best answered by “what do I want to read, but am not finding elsewhere” (and unless I’m missing a blog or two, there’s some excellent theorycrafting FAQs on Huntering but not much in the way of middle ground. “This is what we found”, newbie help (which is immensely helpful – I’m half the hunter I am today because of the bestest hunter blogger evar, BRK. <3) – but when I was just digging into Huntering some moar explanation would have been nice. Maybe I can help someone else. Wow, digression.

What I'd really wanted to do, though, today, now, was a bit of an open letter to people in random dungeons:
*Dear Death Knights: Please, don't drop Death and Decay in front of mobs before I pull; please wait for me to at least hit them with my shield, taunt, or judgment, and especially please let them get into my Consecration. I'd like a leadup on threat, please. On the up side, I figured out what to do with you – you're gonna waste your runes because I'm going to just move to the side and pull them so they don't run through it.

*Dear Death Knights again: please, use Death Grip tactically, rather than "I want to dps you, you're not here, I'm not going to walk to where you are WHEN I HAVE DEATH GRIP WHY WOULD I DO THAT"? Death Gripping a stray mob, a runner, or especially a caster my shield missed into melee range (especially into my consecration) is a good use of Death Grip. When I'm running to the mob and you're behind me and you pull them past me and to you, that is a poor use. When you are standing three feet behind me and pull it into the space between us, this just makes me go WHAT THE FUCK. Also, I'm trying to tank them, which means I need to move so everyone is more or less in front of me again. So I can, and so they don't hit my weak point for massive damage.

*Dear Warriors: Kind of like with DKs and death grip… If I'm moving to attack, and haven't thrown my shield, please don't charge. If you go zooming past me before I stop and tank you have probably opened up too early. I know that charge gives you rage, and that's fine, but hold off on a second, okay? Which reminds me – popping Bloodrage before I even start MOVING? That's not time efficient. That's not going to poke me to go – I'm going to go when the healer is ready and some of the DPS is. Jumping the gun is just annoying. If I were a bitch I'd let it wait out THEN pull. But i'm not there, I'm not like that – yet. And like Healers have healing instinct, I have tanky instinct. Maybe I want to let you die, but while petty – and kinda fun! – it's not practical. We might need your dps. I want to have you live, stop making it so hard, and stop trying to tank by charging early and opening up with sunders or even a devestate. PLEASE.

*Dear AoE: At heart, I am Hunter. I love you. But please for the love of god wait to show up until I have agro! We don't get along like this. I know you love me, and I love you, but when I'm not Huntering we're a bad mix unless there's a bit of an aggro buffer! Let me get my dance in with every tank's girlfriend, and then I'll dance with my bestest friend, mmkay? I mean, yeah, there's a reason I'm a Paladin tank, lolaoethreat, but we can't just hop to the first dance of the night right away together.

*Dear everyone: let me share with you a good rule of thumb. Does it have a cast bar? Does this cast bar go down because it casts heals? Or does it make big glowy zones of hurtypain that call to you like sirens to stand in theMNOBESTRONGMOVE … ahem … yes? Chances are these people, even if they don't have the big glowy skull that is WoW's bash-them-with-a bat signal, they die first. Please kill the casters. Plus, sometimes they have AoE! They're threatening our precious AoE DPS monopoly! ATTTAAAAACK!

*Dear mage: YOU DROPPED A TABLE I LOVE YOU HAVE MY BLESSING BABIES. Oh? You didn't? BAH HERE HAVE KINGS ANYWAY but I will be glaring at you while I nom my Crusty Flatbread instead of Delicious Mana Manna. (do dooo doo do, mana manna…).

*Dear other paladins in the group besides me and probably Temnyi who's healing me: we like to hash out who's covering what. Usually, Tem has Imp. Wis, and I don't have Imp Might yet, so I kings, and he does Blessing of Wis/Might/Otters. If you've got Improved Might or something, let us know. Or you can do kings and I'll do him a favor and put Sanc on everyone. Don't just start dropping blessings! I mean, most of the time, buffing everyone is appreciated, but just because we're not running / configuring PallyPower for lol5mans doesn't mean we don't coordinate. Buffs are srsbzns! Well, they're at least practice.

Dear everyone: Nexus isn't Karazhan, UK isn't Icecrown, but five mans is where good group behavior is practiced and becomes habits! It's not srsbzns, but it's at least nice to have a veneer of professionalism and proper group etiquette!

Dear Tank: Is Righteous Defense up? Is Blessing of Sanctuary up? Is Seal of Shiny Holy Acid up if it’s a boss? Yes, yes, yes? THEN Pull! No, but you pulled? AGH CAST QUICKLY THEN RESUME TANKING. There’s an addon to help you, self, and it’s called brain. Stop being Paladumb! … Dear self: what? You’re the tank, self. ACK.

Dear Tanking: When do you ever stop being an adventure? When do you stop being fun? With Divine Bwee on the horizon I don’t see this being anytime soon. Heck, even all these people and all their frustrations are just dust in the wind.

**One thing I want to talk about, later, is that, talking to some people (former guildies) I realized that a lot of it isn’t that WoW Is Too Easy (how’s that ToGC 25 coming? Herald of the Titans? Mmm?) isn’t that there’s no challenge, but rather it’s ‘Too Accessable’ – what I, unkindly, refer to as “elitist prickery”. It’s not “too easy” in that there’s no challenge, it’s too easy in that it’s not “all challenge” and that, god forbid, Blizzard put in an optional “easy mode” and/or that the rewards for harder modes aren’t more distinct. Yeah, (WARNING: PSYCHOLOGY) a lot of the bitching is either a) people who’re tired of WoW and thus taking an indistinct phenomenon that might not even be wholly articulate to them, and/or just generalizing that into “WoW Is Too Easy” because encounter nerfs and ‘accessibility’ make it an easy target, or b) people who can’t stand the thought of their being similar but easier content because it somehow (yes, my sarcasm means I understand but have no sympathy for this viewpoint) diminishes their own accomplishments. Grevlon (I gather) and a few of my former guildmates, I’m looking at you. Wow, digression again!

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News: Shiny Wings of Light have no substance

February 3, 2010 at 5:10 am (althattery) (, , , , )

… And therefore don’t let you fly!

*runs around through a bell shop flailing like a frantic and hopped up tree, ringringringringringringring*

So, uhm, I’ve kind of neglected this blog lately.

But I have my reasons! I promise!

Ding! 70!

Things I’ve learned about Paladins lately:
-I usually forget I even have a ret offspec; though it’s good to remember when targets are sparse enough that getting 4+ on me at once is difficult.
-Prot is viable for levelling and actually kinda fun when the mobs are melee or melee + 1 caster and can be rounded up. GROUPHUG OF THE RIGHTEOUS! Smitings for XP and JUSTICE! Mu wa ha ha!
-I’m either demented or the game gets radically different over the next ten levels, but TANKING IS FUN 😀
-Prot!Galgamesh is as cacklingly gung-ho and insane about leaping headfirst into danger as Math is about leaping… well … pet-first… into danger. IF ONLY THERE WERE A SKILL CALLED “PULL MOAR.” Or as I call it, “Holy Plurb” – basically a 30′ (OR MORE) cone (or sphere!) attack that only deals a small amount of holy damage and goes “Nyah nyah I poke you come thwack me!!”.
-It does make a considerable difference, having a healer with you upon whom you can thoroughly rely.

(a plurb is the sensation of a three-dimensional ripple in reality crossing through your space)

Stuff I’m Not Looking Forward To:
-Already lost 1k so Gal can even just fly in Outland; going to lose 5k more soon for Epic Flight.
-Tanking wHoRe … I’m sorry, Halls of Reflection.
-THE GUILD MESSAGE OF TODAY. AAAGH. Thank god I can’t draw, I’d be compelled to draw it.

Stuff I am excited for:
-Most Northrend heroics from a tank perspective!
-Instant Queues! MU WA HA HA.
-Becoming excellent at something else other than just dps.
-I really want to try Raid tanking. Especially, for inexplicable reasons, Council of Iron.

A final thought:
This hit me the other night – Protection Paladins are, basically, masochists. Especially before they get Divine Plea at Level 71. They work best and are on top of their game when they’ve got a lot of people all beating on them. One v. one, not taking much damage because HAY YOU’RE PROT HAVE SOME MIT AND MOAR AVOIDANCE, we are running OOM and sad. But give us a mob of things battering our defenses and smacking us around and we’re all BWEE I TANK YOU ALL.

Either that or, like I said, I am demented.

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Tankspam

January 28, 2010 at 9:50 am (althattery) (, , , )

Tanking is fun!

I realized part of why. At heart, I am a hunter. Hunters are inherently … oh, how shall we say? … high-threat creatures. But but but in Panzerdin mode I AM REWARDED FOR THREAT. SPAM EVERYTHING FULL BORE AHEAD CAP’N.

I enjoy this. 😀

My tanking is getting better, but of course it helps to have a talented and guilded healer at your back. I may launch myself into some pure randoms though just to see how I can do with Random Heals. That seems to be the real test. I love instant queues almost as much as I haet the dumb and impatient I sometimes get – except I totally had a DK today who, when asked nicely, deathgripped stray healers into the middle of the beatdown. I mean, the fun. Feeling lonely, mr. Fel Orc Caster? That’s okay! HAMMER OF THE RIGHTEOUS is here to GIVE YOU A HUG.

Been tanking Ramps a few times and handling the extra stray packs that sometimes jump in randomly because they feel sad and left out, and would rather feel glowy and hole-y.

I like this. After trying and faceplanting against Marrowgar 25 all raidnight, tanking is oddly relaxing. Everyone tells me it gets worse when I get to 80, but I guess I’ll see. I have good people I can ask for advice.

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Adjustment? Adjustment!

January 27, 2010 at 8:37 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

On the up side: I mostly no longer walk into Sunreaver’s Sanctuary, and I’ve actually avoided entirely going to Horde camps or trying to click on Horde flight points and thus getting horribly mauled by some wind riders. By the way, Paladin hit 60 last night and got her a griffin, and they’re much cooler than wind riders!

—-

On the down side: So far the hardest thing to adjust to is learning what goes where in the world. It seems to me like the world, in terms of quest hubs, cities, and city/town connections, is a lot less optimal than for the Alliance when compared to Horde, especially in eastern kingdoms. A Theramore / Auberdine boat would solve a lot of it, though.

The worst of it, though, speaking of Theramore. I was in Menethil, waiting for the boat to Theramore, when someone else on the dock whispers me that they forgot how to get into Darkshore. So I think for a moment and reply that the quickest way to get to Dustwallow is you go from Menethil to Stormwind, then down to Booty Bay and hop the boat to Ratchet, and run down The Barrens. As I finish saying it hits me – we’re WAITING for the BOAT TO THERAMORE, which, derp, is in DUSTWALLOW. I quickly fix – AS THE BOAT ARRIVES and apologize.

Of the things I miss from Winterhoof, among them is Quin’loki, my friend and the best damn priest (sorry, Amber!) I’ve ever had the bwee of running with, who also had the uncanny ability to generally find the quickest travel route between two nodes, thus earning her the nickname (from me) of Map’loki. WTB Alliance version?

On the “…” side, it’s still a trip seeing myself as a Drenny … Drenai … Drain-I. Chupathingie. Spacegoat. And a female! In fact all three toons I’m leveling right now are women; two spacegoats and a human. I’m sorry, I don’t like being INFINITE COMIC BARREL CHEST, itty bitty walking legs, or STEROID FOREARMS OF DEWM. I do roll Dwarf, Gnome, and Worgen male. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just weird to see. Farimu more than Math, actually (I miss the tusks), because once I found out the Pygmy Oil // Orb of the Sin’dorei / Orb of Deception / Savory Deviate Delight trick, I would play around with it (ah, hah @ trap!Math ).

But now that the Paladin is in Outland, we shall see, if she runs into Thrallmar. Or Falcon Watch. Or any of the other Horde-only towns. Garandar is calling to come sit at the bonfire…

On the “hey this is fun” side: I’ve now ret-tanked ST, prot-tanked Dire Maul East with a fairly good group after the Doucheknight left, and had a pretty abortive LBRS group. Seriously, WoW? LBRS? For a random group, when a bunch of us haven’t even ever been there? Well – I was there three times. When achievements first came out, so like a year and a half ago – achievement run. Then I found out about the pets. Then I found out about the UBRS key. I barely found my way through the maze then! I did alright, I think, even when someone pulled two additional groups – we killed the first boss, despite someone pressing me to “GO” if I took even ten seconds to type something in guild chat or sit to drink water – needs more Avoidance, for more Mana! Oooor, wtb Divine Plea, please? … and then the same impatient “oh I’m so leet” Paladin falls down a pit and pulls about 20 trolls. Yeah, we put up a valiant fight but even my kickass Pally healer (Temnyi of Conjured Food For Thought) can’t keep me alive through the whole thing, partially because I can’t pick them up fast enough, and we all die.

Which means we now need to find our way through Searing Gorge and back to Blackrock Spire, and then into UBRS. Someone leaves without a word. Paladin disconnects, and despite having jumped ship, I tell ya, it felt satisfying to kick him and ignore him. The last DPS leaves, and we decide – hey, I came here at 58, Tem hit 58 mid-instance, and it’d be much better to go to Outland.

A final thought: Ret Paladins are kind of like Enhancement Paladins – they’re boring as hell for ~40-50 levels, then they start getting a lot of fun. For Shamans, it’s Dual Wield and Stormstrike. For Paladins, its Crusader Strike (or Divine Storm), so you’re not spending half the time just auto-attacking. Paladin’s now become pretty fun, especially when I can pull mobs of undead or demons (VITALLY IMPORTANT: when they don’t have gobs of CC like knockdown and freeze. I’ve learned this the hard way – after a couple times x.x) – like in Plaguelands and Hellfire. 😀

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Well, that was … an experience.

January 23, 2010 at 10:42 am (althattery) (, , , , , , , )

I am no longer pure DPS*. It figures, just yesterday, I was talking about talking about tanks vs. DPS, from a pure-DPS perspective, and now here I am a day later, having tanked**. Yes, if you go “wtf Math” you’re not the only one.
…It was also dealing with Looking For Dungeon people. Yes, if you go “oh, joy“, you’re not the only one.

So, it starts innocuously enough. My buddy Temnyi (no. I don’t know how to pronounce it, either) started playing WoW again; and I got him to roll on Azgalor. Wham, a two weeks later, he’s 49. Been levelling my Paladin, and she’s 53, so we decide to run the last chunk of Maraudon. Almost immediately I’m all but ripping off the bear, but he says my damage is easy to heal through. While this is going on, we’re talking in whispers, and I joke that I should ret tank the place. I ALMOST tossed on Righteous Wrath and was gonna rip everything to see how it went (Which happened anyway when we went balls out on the last boss) – but it felt like it’d’ve been rude to the bear, so I tried to watch my threat.

You know what my #1 thought on Ret Paladins in instances is? I. REALLY. Miss. Feign. Death.

Afterwards, I asked if he thought he could keep me alive ret tanking. Getting an affirmative, we queued for Sunken Temple, and I slapped on the higher-def, higher-stam helm that I got off a Mara boss. This … would be fun.

And you know? It was, and it wasn’t. I got a lot of what you’d expect from the LFD queue.

Plus, it was Sunken Temple. I’ve been here before ONCE. Eighteen months ago. Fuck, I could have sired two children and taught them to yell “ATTAAAAAACK” over vent in the time that’s past since I last set FOOT in The Temple Of Atal’Hakar. And it’s kind of a maze with some thing that needs to be done in VERY SPECIFIC ORDER.

We had one dps who knew the place, and Temnynol knew the place. They argued sometimes on which way to go like quibbling cats, but we got everything done.
That was the mage, and he was constantly riding me, the newbie tank, to go go go go go.
We had the warrior who would charge mobs, and me imagining him calling RAAAGH I ARE ARMS TANK.
We also had a dps randomly leave early on without a word, and then a replacement shaman. We spent about five, ten minutes trying to meet up because VANILLA DEVS LOEV MAZE, and then get back on the road.
Temnynol is fun, though, and a fine healer. 🙂

In fact, the warrior was pulling the minibosses. Or even packs of mobs. By charge. After running ahead of me (yes, I have Pursuit of Justice, but I was also being tentative). I wanted to let him die, I poked Tem that we should have let him die, but he said it would reflect badly on him and his professionalism, and y’know? I can understand and get behind that. I would have let him die, though. I’ll have to set some rules when I keep tanking.

After the lower half, Temn DCs, and we argue. Being my friend and guildie, I want to wait to see if he comes back, the rest of the group wants to gogogogo, eventually he gets kicked and we get a new healer. The three “dps” keep pushing ahead with no healer, I’m waiting on a healer. I have some cross words with the mage for rushing me, but I over-reacted – newbishness at work! – we hash it out, I apologize, we smooth things over.

We get a healer, we go through the MAZE AND DANCE of meeting up, and it turns out this healer … charges in faster than the warrior to attack mobs. Because they’re enhance. Queued as heals. Erhm. Yeah. Well, that was an experience! At least I didn’t die, and it was pretty quick – we were, after all, ALL FIVE OF US DPS SPEC.

After a lot of AoE pulls and mayhem we clear the upper level, I almost ding to 54, fun times are had, and I have tanked for the first time. It was certainly an experience. I think I need to look into some Tank UI mods, though; things like to know when someone else has agro, etc etc. Anyone who has newb tank UI and play advice, I would welcome it OH so very much. 🙂

Here’s to the adventure of tanking! Let’s hope I don’t get too many splats, and can even be half the tank I am a dps; I’d be happier with 95%, but even 50% would be good.

*Well … There’s Beardy. My first character ever was a warrior, in vanilla WoW. When they really were only tanks. He got to 22. I did not care for it. Though I love Beardy <3. I dunno if that counts or not, though.

**…Well, does ret tanking really count as tanking?

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