Thursday, October 8, 2009

Yeah, it's been a while!

I haven't written a post in a long time now. Why? It's because I've been healing on my shaman, and I could not in good conscience keep writing paladin specific articles. What prompted the change? I was bored, I guess. To be fair, though, the paladin class has changed a lot since I wrote last, and for the better, too! I have started raiding on my pally again, so maybe I will start writing as well. I just have to scout the competition a bit first, as I'm sure the 1 million paladin blogs have covered just about everything there is to know. After all, being repetitive is bad because it's repetitive.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Not So Useless Little Spell, After All!

In the past couple of months, I was re-acquainted with a spell that has been forgotten by most of the healing paladin community. This didn't happen as a result of a long, hard, and creative thinking process about ways I could improve my performance in raids. No... It happened during a fourth wipe on Maexxna, and we were wiping due to the lack of damage reduction on the tank during the enrage/web spray stage. I figured that, before I left the pug, I would give it one more shot, repair bills be damned. I had, by chance, opened my spellbook and was browsing through the protection spells, looking for Hand of Protection, as I didn't have it on my hotbar for some reason. As I was scrolling through, my eyes fell on Hand of Sacrifice, a spell I had not used since I stopped raiding Karazhan. 
Now, normally, Hand of Sacrifice would be used by protection specced paladins as a means of saving a group member from death in case of an aggro pull. It is, however, and excellent spell that will save a tank from dying in many situations. It has perfect synergy with Divine Shield. So how would you use it? I do it in situations where the tank will take an enormous amount of damage that the raid may not be able to heal through. You simply cast Divine Shield and then Hand of Sacrifice on your tank. The result is that 30% of the damage will go to you, and you will be protected by the bubble, so you won't be in any danger.Examples of some situations where you would use it:
Maexxna - the enrage happens at 30%, and there is a good chance that you will get web sprayed at least once. Usually the tank can use a damage reduction ability and survive. If you get sprayed twice during the enrage, however, the tank will probably die. The answer? DS and HoS.
Patchwerk: At 10% he increases damage done, meaning that hateful strikes do way more damage (as if they didn't do enough). 
It is also incredibly useful if another healer bites the dust, or you just pull too many mobs (heroics for example). 

The best way I have found is to use a castsequence macro, like this (/castsequence Divine Shield, Hand of Sacrifice). Of course, this is a very simple one, as I'm sure things like mousover target and such can be added. I'm sure that I have only touched the tip of the iceberg here, so feel free to add more uses in the comments section.

Edit: As Rohan mentioned in the comments section, the spell in Protection tree, Divine Sacrifice, is also usable as a way to mitigate raid damage, and can be put in a castsequence macro as well. While I think that it's a great way to mitigate dmg in 5 and 10 mans, it diminishes in a 25 man aoe raid situation due to the number of players taking damage. It does, however, beat Hand of Sacrifice if the tank is the only one taking damage at the time. 

Monday, April 13, 2009

Standing at the Crossroads...

By now it is no secret that the latest trend in WoW blogging is not to blog at all. With Phae on maternity leave and many others on hiatus, I must admit that I have come to a point where I don't know what to do with the blog.  When I first started out, I thought that I wanted to specialize in things like healing and gear guides. I did not realize, though, that even writing out a simple Heroic guide is so much work. While by now I can probably write out a step by step approach to every heroic dungeon boss encounter, I feel that it's an overwhelming amount of work for something most people will have already figured out. I suppose that I could try theorycrafting, but that's even more work, and what's worse, it means that I would have to do math... /blegh
Right now I have a half finished Heroic HoL guide that I started on, oh, about two months ago! I have a ton of ideas in my head, but every night I sit down at the computer, I find that it isn't enough to even write a single cohesive post. What's worse, it seems like there is a new holy paladin blog popping up almost daily. I'll have to find something that will make this blog stand out among the others, but I still have no clue about what that might be. I guess I'll have to do some soul searching, but until then, you're more than welcome to help yourself to my ramblings!

PS: By the way, that is the Turning Tide I'm wielding in  the picture :P

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Modest Proposal

Miss Elf had an interesting post a while back called If I Were A New Player, I Wouldn't Be A Player At All. I didn't really pay much attention to how hostile the game is to new players until Northrend was down on Scarlet Crusade a few weeks ago, and I had rolled a lock on a new server for fun. I made it to level 15 before I finally gave up.  It is hard enough to grind 80 levels on a server where you have the support of your mains, but I think that if I had to do it all over again from scratch, I wouldn't even bother giving it a try. After giving this some serious thought, I had suddenly remembered what EQ had started doing after they saw their new player base decrease: Monster Missions. These were instanced runs where you got to play as, basically, an NPC. Think Caverns of Time, except that you had a completely different set of abilities from your own. What was really fun about monster missions was that a level 75 and a level 10 could group together, as the levels would be adjusted for the instance. Now, this probably would have to be adjusted in case of WoW, as just gaining experience from the missions means nothing to an 80. This is where another feature from EQ could come in handy: Evolving Items. They would be rare pieces of gear in which you would invest experience from the missions to gain better stats. At full evolution, they would have the same stats as a, let's say, lv213 epic, maybe even better. Don't like this idea? Fine then, I have one more proposition.
It is no secret that low level instances have now become obsolete. In fact, they are pretty much only useful to twinks and new players. This is where I would recommend what I like to call "Rent a group". Similar to what EQ implemented, once a day you would be able to go into an instance by yourself with enough NPCs to fill in for the rest of the group that you could not pug in lfg. They would move through the instance at a set pace, and you could mix and match the composition of the group, so that you could also perform your role as dps/healer/tank. That's pretty much all I got... Thanks for reading!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Aegis Hestia Wants YOU!

I don't usually do things like this, but it seems that a lot of players in WoW are in a burnout stage. Bored with Naxx, I guess... Therefore, at the moment, Aegis Hestia is recruiting a few able bodied DPS and a couple of healers to fill our raid spots. We raid Tue, Thur, and Sat from 8-11 CST. We are housed on the Scarlet Crusade (US) server, and if you would like more info on how to join, please go to AegisHestia.com. We actively clear Naxx in two days (or less) and have cleared Sartharion with a drake up and Malygos. If you've been wanting to transfer servers, now is the perfect time to do it, and we would love to have ya! :P 

Monday, March 16, 2009

I Heart Greater Faydark!

As many of you have probably read on one blog or another, it is Everquest's 10th anniversary today, although I doubt that most of the WoW population will understand the massive (no pun intended) impact that the game had on the world of MMOs. You see, Everquest set the precedent for what WoW would become today. It did not do this, however, by succeeding in catering to the player base the way WoW does. Instead, WoW learned from the mistakes of EQ, which is why it has been able to retain and grow it's customer base to the enormous online community we have today. I know many of you are probably shocked that I say that WoW listens to it's players, but believe me, WoW is Mother Goose in comparison to EQ. In fact, if I had to say that any other MMO killed EQ, I would probably have to proposition that it was WoW in the Library with a candle stick. 

I'll start off by saying that I was once an EQ player, and a hardcore one at that. I know you can't tell that by the VERY subtle tributes I give it by naming all my characters after EQ deities (Quellious, Cazicthule, and so on...). I started playing EQ when I found out about it from a friend, right after the expansion Ruins of Kunark came out. I decided to give it a try, so I rolled a druid on the Quellious server named Astrael ( No, I did not name it Quellious, that would have been tacky :P). When I started playing the game, I wasn't terribly impressed with the graphics. In fact, they were outdated even by standards in those days. However, after I had played the game for about an hour, it drew me in more and more. My druid grew and grew, and eventually he was level capped, which in Everquest takes about 4 to 5 times longer than in WoW. I soloed most of the content up to level 55, and had no trouble finding raids to heal or dps ( you could do both at the same time), and eventually I got my Epic 1.0. A little later on, Planes of Power came about, and we conquered them without much trouble too. However, after the first 3 or 4 expansions, the game became very hostile towards even the solo classes. The normal mobs were becoming stronger (they quadded for about 500 per hit, which comes to about 2k health per second out of an 8k health pool). Things got so ridiculous at the time Dragons of Norrath came out that I, like many players, altogether quit. We complain about welfare epics today, but we disregard that EQ required you to do an 8 hour raid per night to clear a dungeon (which was not instanced by the way), and the chances that you'd get the nice gear from the three bosses there were about 1/52, as that's how many players were in the raid.  Of course, not all raids were this long (OK, maybe just Vex'Thal), but all of them had about 50 players, so gearing was definitely an issue. I won't even go into the corpse runs, the exp loss on death and the fact that there was only one acceptable raid healer, the cleric. But in spite of all my beef with EQ, I want to wish it a Happy Birthday, and I hope that they will come out with EQ III that will blow away all other MMOs :P


Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Hybrid Theory

Rohan, of Blessing of Kings, had an interesting article in response to the news that Spiritual Attunement, a base paladin ability that grants mana when healed, is going to be made into a talent deep in the protection tree. You can read it here: Will The Last Hybrid Paladin Please Turn Off The Lights?

While I agree that this change will be just another nail in the coffin when it comes to performing non-spec duties in a main spec, I am inclined to welcome this as a positive one. You see, I have never played a paladin pre-TBC. I don't know about the good old days when a holy paladin could tank and dps well enough in a pinch. Therefore, it never made much sense to me to tank as holy, or dps as protection, or any other combination you may think of. I do think that this change, however, will not make much difference anymore due to the coming of the dual specs. Personally, I would rather have changes that increase my ability in my talented role, than to be able to do multiple things at once. After all the leveling and gearing is done, when a tank dies in Naxx or a Heroic, it's almost always a wipe, and it makes no difference whether I have tanking abilities as holy, Patchwerk will still slice through me like a hot knife through butter. If too many dps die on Thaddius, it won't make a difference that I can pop a 2h and put out about 500 more dps than a druid or shaman, because we still won't kill him before he enrages.  I say, take Spiritual Attunement, and give me the aoe heal that everyone else has :P

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Slow and steady lost the race... sort of :P

Just as I was about halfway through writing an article about this subject, I checked Siha's site and noticed that she had written about the exact same thing! Therefore, I will simply tell you to go here: Banana Shoulders Judgements Topic. It is extremely informative, and saves me from having to post all the math to prove it XD

I also want to let everyone know that I have finished my experiment on mana regen in entry level blues and epics for 10-man Naxx. I honestly have to say that there was not much issue with using Divine Plea whenever I was short on mana, but there were some close calls with Patchwerk and Grand Widow Faerlina's enrage. I would say if you're using Divine Plea on bosses, try to time it's activation with Avenging Wrath. It seems that mp5 is still largely obsolete, so feel free to stack crit/int/spellpower. I never did make it past Sapphiron, so I don't know how this will affect Kel'thuzad healing, but I don't think it will make much difference (I had to pug almost all 10-man Naxx, since my guild rarely runs them). 

In other news, I did notice that the Ulduar plate disclosed on MMO-Champion is suspiciously stacked with mp5, and methinks that we may see another change to Divine Plea soon. I'm thinking somewhere along the lines of Divine Plea increasing mana regeneration itself, instead of regenerating the mana based on intellect. Let us just hope for the best. Until next time... Cheers!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Fond Farewell...

I'm sure that by now most of us who read the various WoW blogs know that Phaelia of Resto4Life has announced that she will stop blogging effective March. I can honestly say the blog community will lose a great writer and one of the biggest "WoW Celebrities" out there (and I' m not just saying this because she is a fellow LSU Tiger). I remember the first time I had stumbled upon Resto4Life while trying to level my druid, and the wealth and quality of information I had discovered amazed me. I knew immediately that this was a gem of a website, and I soon found myself visiting it on a daily basis. At this point, I have to admit that a large part of my decision to move to the Scarlet Crusade server and join Aegis Hestia was affected by Phaelia's blogging. So with that, I truly wish Phae the best of luck in her future endeavors, and I hope that we will one day get to see a resurrection of the blog in some shape or form. Geaux, Phae!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

My (Un)Funny Valentine....

Well, the Love is in the Air event ended at 6 A.M. server time this morning. How close was I to getting the Love Fool achievment? One piece of candy... That was all that stood between me and having to wait another year for my Purple Proto Drake. Alas, it was not to be. I almost feel dirty now, what with throwing on my red dress, practically bathing in perfume, and putting on a drag show for all the Ironforge and Stormwind guards every hour for a lousy Gift of Adoration. Well, I did say almost :P So, I will wipe the mascara off my pudgy dwarf face and stash the high heels into the bank, and bide my time patiently until next February. 

In other news...

Blizzard has announced that we will officially get dual specs in 3.1. You may find the details of the blue posts on mmo-champion.com.  I, personally, have decided that my offspec will be Retribution, as I have not PvPed in quite a while. I am now running 10-mans exclusively for ret gear for dungeons, and am saving my emblems for the PvP gear. To all you horde locks out there, I have one thing to say: Get ready to feel pain!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Nerf on the count of five! (That's three my lord).

So, by now we have all seen that the nerf to Divine Plea came in sooner than patch 3.1, when mana regeneration for healers was to be cut across the board. That's right, we've been sucker punched! Or have we...

I ran Naxx 25 this past week, and can tell you that I did not really see a problem with mana regeneration. As I suspected, the change has little effect in 25 mans, as I was still using Divine Plea fairly often, and still managed to cling to the high end of the healing meters. When I used Divine Plea on Patchwerk while healing the OT, I made sure that I also popped Avenging Wrath. Now, two questions remain: How does this affect the 10-man Naxx and entry level healers, too? Experiment time! I will, over the next couple of weeks, gather (again >.<) the blue gear from my gear guide, and will run a couple of 10-mans. I will then report on the results, and see if we need to look over how we should rank our starting gear. Expect to see a post on it soon.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Close, but no cigar!

So... we downed Kel'thuzad last night, but he dropped absolutely nothing for me. Zero, zip, nada. On the bright side, at least now we all know the fight and are planning on taking him down weekly. 

Now to the important stuff...

Blizzard has announced that in patch 3.1.0, they will nerf mana regen across the board. For paladins, they will change the healing penalty on Divine Plea up to 50%. For the most part, I'm not really that concerned by this, mostly because it will not affect 25 man raids too much if there is only one paladin. We may start to see things going back to TBC days when we really watched the overheals caused by Holy Light. In 10 man raids, though, this might become an issue, especially on longer boss fights, like Gothik or the Four Horsemen.  I'm not sure how this will affect the value of mp5 on our gear, but I've started collecting some pieces already. This is, of course, going to affect our haste rating, as it is in direct competition with mp5 on most of our gear. There is a silver lining to this cloud, however, because Blizz is giving more classes the replenishment buff, so we no longer have to think about bringing along just a shadow priest or ret paladin. 

Thursday, January 29, 2009

/aim gun at Kel'thuzad

It looks like my guild will finally be taking down Kel'thuzad this weekend. I have been saving dkp for the past two weeks so that I can get either the shield, the T7 Helm or the sexy caster sword he drops. I'm bound to get at least one, or so I hope. Also, while googling random holy paladin terms today at work, I came across this gem: Loot Rank. If you put in your class and assign point values (which you can find on Elitist Jerks) to stats relevant to your spec, you can compare the raid gear to help you progress. What are you waiting for? TRY IT NAO!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The To(ret) Syndrome

Sorry, I couldn't resist! :P

For a couple of weeks now I have been thinking of going to the dark side and trying retribution for a few days, mainly for PvP. I'm afraid, though, that I will like it and will want to stay. Let's just say that I cannot wait for the dual specs to come out (if they ever do). I do have some very decent prot gear stored in my bank that I suppose I could use for a ret spec due to all the strength, but finding PvP gear for ret is not hard, given that you can craft most of it. All in all, I will try to resist the temptation to switch for now. 

In other news, I have rolled a Blood Elf Warlock, just to get a sense of what it is like to play the horde for a while. I know I have probably broken some sacrosanct law somewhere by doing this, but it will be interesting to see just what it is that makes the horde players win so many BGs and if it is really true that they are a more mature crowd. It will be strange, however, to not be able use my  /say "Turn the udder cheek!" macro after slapping around a Tauren in WSG. Ah well, "C'est la vie"

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A New Home!

So, after much contemplation, I have decided to switch servers. My new home is now the Scarlet Crusade server. While I will miss my friends and guildies from Cenarius, there are a few things I won't miss, such as waiting in an 1100 person queue to log in. Meanwhile, I have found a guild that I like very much and I am beginning to establish myself again among the healer community. 

In other news, I have participated in downing the Four Horsemen on 25 man Naxx last night, which is a first for me (not that I haven't wiped on it about a thousand times). It was a very exciting experience for me, and hopefully there will be many more. 

Till next time, thanks for reading!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Domo Arigato Mr. Healbotto

Quellious: Hey, I noticed your response time was a little off tonight. Are you lagging terribly?
"Nameless" Healadin: Not really, I was healing my group
 fine, wasn't I?
Quellious: Yes.... But in a 10 man we have two groups, and you were kind of on raid heals...
"Nameless" Healadin: You mean on Anub'Rekhan
? I had a bit of trouble targeting. 
Quellious: Targeting? What kind of healing mod are you using?
"Nameless" Healadin: I prefer to heal the old fashioned style. You know, F keys and hotbar buttons.
Quellious: Heh.... Yeah... What?
Quellious: Please get Healbot right away >.<

This was an actual conversation with a fellow paladin raiding Naxx-10. I never actually thought I would have to write a post about this, but it makes me a sad panda to think that there are people still healing the "old fashioned way." You know, the way they did it Pre-TBC. My friends, I would therefore like to introduce you to a wonderful little tool called Healbot. I don't care what kind of a healer you are, this little addon will be a lifesaver in any raid or dungeon instance. Why? It allows you to heal with a mouse click. Namely, Healbot allows you to see everyone's health bars (along with any dispellable debuffs on them if you chose), and allows you to bind your healing spells to your mouse buttons. You can also use the modifiers (such as Ctrl+click, Shift+click, etc.) to cast things like dispels, Lay on Hands, Beacon of Light, and so on. Here is what it looks like in it's simplest form (i.e. when there is only you in the group):

Of course, if you are in a group, it would show the rest of your groupmates as well as their pets. The newer versions of Healbot will also tell you the spec of the person you are scrolling over (in the form of xx/xx/xx). You can also set Healbot up to where it will show either numerical HP of your group or % wise. There are, of course, alternatives to healbot, such as Grid + Clique, but why use two addons when you can do the same with just one. So please, if you are a healer of any kind, make your life easier and get it today. You can find it at Curse gaming's WoW addons. Otherwise, you'll have incurred the wrath of a very frustrated blogger :P

Edit: By the way, I just wanted to point out that healbot is not only for healers. Mages and Druids can use it to set up de-cursing, paladins can use it to cast things like Divine Intervention, hunters can use it to MD, etc. The possibilities are endless, especially because you can use the decursive hotbutton (D is the default I believe) in conjunction, and you can even track the debuffs using Healbot's UI.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

More to come in this new year!

First of all, let me wish everyone reading this a belated New Year! I've been extremely busy catching up with work for last year, that I didn't have time to post new articles. I have, however, made a resolution to post here at least three times a week, and make at least one useful guide a week. Therefore, you can expect to see new stuff coming up next week, and make sure you spread the word around! :P