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Sub-80 Paladin Tanking Guide!

Monday, June 8th, 2009

I wanted to try tanking with Ghugh.  But I’ve been too scared to set foot in an instance… I had no idea what would be most useful and what spells were more important.  It’s not the end of the world to go to an instance for the first time as DPS and suck, but if you go in as a tank and suck, well, that’s the end of the instance.

At least with healing and DPS you can test out and see what your numbers are like.  Can’t really check your threat management without just diving in!

So I asked a Twitter friend who I know loves leveling and running prot if he could help me out and show me the ropes.  And he sure did!  He wrote up a whole guide to tanking Northrend instances for the first time – what’s important, what talents to take, what to use when.  It’s great!  And it’s given me the confidence to actually try tanking.  I’ll let you know how it goes :)

Check out Your First Time Tanking: Northrend Edition at Psynister’s Notebook!

He’ll be coming out with further editions for other leveling ranges too.  Looking forward to it!

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News Flash: DEHTA imposes hunting restrictions on Nesingwary!

Monday, May 25th, 2009

[LocalDefense] Halaa is under attack!

Spent some more time with the Paladin this weekend!  I didn’t get the 4 levels in 1 day I got last week, but I did managed to get him to nearly 69.  Woo, almost to Northrend!

I decided not to head out right at 68 because that’s when I had just started Nagrand.  Nagrand is my favourite Outlands zone – I’m not going to skip it!

I discovered something though:  They made the Nagrand quests shorter in 3.1! Remember the Mastery quests from Nesingwary?  You had to kill 30 of every beast in the zone?  No longer!  They’ve all been knocked down to 12!  Does this mean the DEHTA has finally gotten to Nesingwary?  I think so!

In fact, this holds true for several other quests in the zone that I’ve noticed so far – the poo quest is down to 8 poo instead of 15 poo, you only have to kill 8 water elementals and 8 shadow elementals instead of 12 each… they have just made it all a bit quicker.

Even more reason to continue leveling in Outlands before hoping on a boat!

In other Paladin news, I ran a Blood Furnace PUG on the weekend.  We started with 2 Death Knights, 2 Paladins and a Rogue.  If you haven’t already, you can read my theory on Death Knights and PUGs.  I got shoved into the role of healer, which was fine.  We had no tank specified – it was a Free For All between the other Paladin and DKs.  That was fun to heal.

Well, we made it past the first boss, and then we wiped because someone pulled 2 groups full of silencers and I couldn’t ret heal our way through it.

DK #2 has gone offline.

/facepalm.

But for once, the rest of the PUG wanted to keep going.  So we did.  And we 4-manned the rest of Blood Furnace with two half-tanks and a ret paladin healer, with not a single wipe.  :)   Too bad for the guy who ‘disconnected’, just gave us more loots!  So my theory holds true: our PUG was actually more successful after we lost the second DK!

After this, I decided to respec my secondary talents for Holy rather than Protection.  There are two reasons for this:

  1. I don’t want to learn how to tank for the first time with a PUG.  I would rather wait til 80 when I can go with people who will be patient with me and help me out.
  2. There is always a huge shortage of healers while leveling and PUGing. If I can fill that hole, I will be much more likely to finish instances.

So, while I really don’t enjoy paladin healing compared to priest healing or paladin DPS, I can deal with it.

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An Inverse Correlation

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

It was a holiday yesterday up here in the North, and I decided to take the day and see how far I could get my beloved Paladin.  He was all set with his Charger at level 61, ready to head to Northrend to slay demons and red Orcs.

After about 10 hours of playing yesterday, I managed to go from 61 to 64.  That’s practically halfway done Outlands!  In a day!  Hah!

I even picked up dual specs, he’s my very first character to specialize.  I made up a prot spec for his secondary talents and tried to learn what it’s like to tank as a paladin.  I haven’t had a chance to try yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

I did want to try some instancing though.  So I jumped into LFG while questing, and hoped for the best.  I get a few “u healz?” whispers, which I promptly answered no to.  Then I got an invite.

Ramps PUG attempt #1: 2 Death Knights, a Rogue, a 64 feral Druid, and me (62 Ret/Prot).

Group Leader DK asks me if I’m a healer.  I say no, I’m ret/prot.  Druid pipes up and says she can heal, she is our most viable option for healing and doesn’t mind doing it even though it’s not her main spec.  Sounds good to me!  “Who’s tanking?”  I ask.  “I’m not, DUH, I’m BLOOD I don’t tank” says Group Leader DK (this is the same guy who insists on a ret paladin healing).  I volunteer, since it’s my second spec.  “Ghugh you are HEALING.” he says.  /facepalm.  The druid and I both say that she’s volunteered and is a better option to heal.

We run to the instance.  We zone in, I Bless everyone.  “OK so Ghugh you are healing let’s go” says Group Leader DK.  I say, “Uhh… why me?”

You have been removed from the group.

OKAY!  Well, it probably wouldn’t have gone well anyway. A little while later, I get another group invite

Ramps PUG Attempt #2: 3 Death Knights, a DPS Warrior and me.

“We need a healer” says DPS warrior.  I tell them it’s not my spec, but I put my healing gear on and seem to heal effectively enough for a Ramps run, and the tank is 64 so that should help.  We start running off towards Ramps.  A couple of us fail to make a jump and end up splattered on the ground underneath Ramps.  We all have a good laugh, blame Crusader Aura and start the run back to our bodies.

DK #1 has left the group.

DPS Warrior has left the group.

OKAY!  Looks like we’re done here.  Back to questing.  I get a whisper from a healer.  He invites me to a ramps group as DPS, says he has a tank already.  That’s a good sign!  We pull a group together quickly.

Ramps PUG Attempt #3: 1 Death Knight, 1 Feral Druid, 1 Holy Priest, 1 Elemental Shaman and me.

We made it into the instance.  This is a good sign.  We pull the first group – this is the furthest any of my PUGs have gotten.  Good sign!

We make it through the run with no Deaths.  Huzzah!  Success!  I can’t say it was a perfect run, but it was something.  We all agree to go again.  This is where the problems started.  I believe the healer and tank began to get a bit cocky.  “Just chain pull” says the level 59 healer.  “Just pull the entire room” hears the 61 DK tank.

I started noticing a strange behavior.  The DK was just… standing there.  Tanking.  He used some abilities, but he was NOT auto-attacking.  I target his target – it seems he’s always got whatever mob is BEHIND him targeted.  Man, DKs must be so easy to play if you can tank without even facing your target!  Things got worse and worse – after a wipe, he pulls before the healer is even into the zone.  He pulls when no one has mana.   He facepulls and lets the ele shaman and I try to pull the adds off of the healer.

We get to Nazan… make it through the Rider’s phase pretty smoothly, but then everyone forgets the “don’t stand in the flames” rule.  Priest gos down, Shaman goes down, Druid goes down.  It’s just me, the DK and the Dragon now.  My eyes look towards the very close instance exit and I contemplate making a run for it.  But no – I’m at nearly full health and mana, I can do this!  Holy Light!  Judgement of Wisdom!  Holy Light!  Judgement of Wisdom!  Luckily I’m regenning enough mana with my Judgements to afford my big heals.  It’s a long fight, but we take him down.  Just the two of us.

Ramps PUG Attempt #3: SUCCESS!

Today’s lesson: 

There is an inverse correlation between the number of Death Knights in a PUG and the success of the PUG.

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DMC: Greatness and Some Holiday Heroics

Monday, April 13th, 2009

It was a busy weekend for me!  Even though I spent it out of town, I still got some major things accomplished.

On Wednesday or Thursday I decided to start buying Nobles cards.  I added up the cost of all the ones on the AH and it was only about 7600 (full decks were going for about 7800-7900).  I managed to pick up my first 5 cards for only 4056g… not bad!

Unfortunately by Saturday I started freaking out.  There had been no Threes on the AH all day Friday… what if I couldn’t get one?  What if Sunday night came around and I only had 7 cards?

So I ended up paying a little extra for my last 3 cards, for a grand total of 7753g.  Still, not too shabby.  Left me with just over 150g to my name, but it was totally worth it!

Unfortunately, I had to switch out my Mirror of Truth for my Darkmoon Card: Greatness, leaving it paired with Grim Toll for the time being.  Yeah, having 1000AP and 300 Agility procs at the same time would be amazing… but without Grim Toll I’m down to 189 hit.

Once 3.1 hits and I’ve got to respec, I’ll probably toss a few points into Focused Aim, since it’ll apply to pet hit.  But right now I don’t mind waiting it out with Grim Toll.

When I got back into town on Sunday night, I sat down to finish off my dailies before bed.  Now that I’m poor, I feel more motivated to do my dailies, so I suppose that’s a good thing!

After I finished up, someone piped in guild chat asking if anyone wanted to run some heroics.  Sure, I was a bit sleepy, but… what the heck!  I almost never run heroics.  A few people wanted to work on their alts, so we pulled a group together and I volunteered us for Heroic Gundrak because I’d never done Gundrak before.  Managed to pick up 4 achievements as well:

One thing I realized right away was that I’ve never done any regular instances or heroics since I respecced to Marksmanship.  It was different than raiding is.  mobs stay alive barely long enough for a Serpent Sting, but there aren’t really enough of them to justify Volley spam like I’m used to in Naxx.  It took a bit but I finally got back into the swing of things and had a really great time!

We also did Drak’tharon Keep afterward, which was kinda more of the same.  They’re quite similar instances and I am sure I’ll get them mixed up almost every time.

I should run more heroics.

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Little-known symptom of strep throat: Chronic WoW playing.

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

I apologize for being MIA the last couple of days.  Came down with strep throat again this weekend… still trying to get past it!

The good thing about being sick is having to stay at home and play World of Warcraft all the time.  If it wasn’t for the coughing fits, the fever and the achiness, I would have had a quite pleasant couple of days.

I started yet another alt, named Anabelle.  She’s on Cenarion Circle, a roleplaying server!  That’s right, I’m going to make an actual attempt at playing an RP character.  I’ll introduce you to Anabelle and tell you her story soon.  You may have seen her name mentioned here before.  Right now, she’s a level 10 Undead Warrior.

I almost finished my [Hail to the Chef] achievement on Monday.  I figured since I missed out on getting [Fool for Love], I might as well get another title!  So I farmed to try to get my cooking up to 450 so I can finally make a Fish Feast… but apparently I didn’t quite farm enough, and ended up with 448 when my mats ran out!  So I’ll have to swing around and try again another time.

Tuesday, I had time to run a couple of Heroics.  First, as is always my first choice, we ran Utgarde Keep.  No crossbow.  Darn it.

I had a really fun time running these heroics.  We had one of our main Paladin healers spec’d prot to try his hand at tanking… and so I got to actually CC! It was nice to practice using my Freezing Arrow and Freezing Trap and pulling skills.  I miss those.

I still had The Nexus heroic daily quest in my log, and so I took my group there.  And this one little heroic Nexus run solved so many of my problems.  First, it gave me exactly 40 Emblems of Heroism, which meant I could purchase Ferguson the shoulders he’s been dying to get.  And then, the [Sphere of Red Dragon's Blood] dropped!  With the 55 hit on that baby, I am exactly 1 above the hit cap.

Which meant I don’t need to spend 60 Emblems of Valor on the [Armguards of the Tower Archer], and instead spent 25 on the [Hammerhead Sharkskin Cloak].

I love it when everything just falls into place!

Now all I need is a new ranged weapon, because my [Zombie Sweeper Shotgun] is just not cutting it anymore.

Unfortunately, the chronic disconnections in Naxxramas seem to have returned for a select few people.  After the first boss of the night, I was no longer able to stay connected during combat.  I would get booted every time there was a pull, and couldn’t log back in until everyone was out of combat.  After missing all of spider and plague wings, I asked that they replace me so I could stop torturing myself.

The good thing about this was I was able to hop on Cenarion Circle and witness the battle between Platezilla and Arrens, and observe some enjoyable RPing.

Hopefully things will be cleared up by tonight and even more will fall into place… [Arrowsong] or [Envoy of Mortality], perhaps?