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Go Ghugh!

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

I went home a bit early last night because I had a goal.  Ghugh was sitting at about 5% through level 79 and I was going to get him to 80 no matter what!  So after 4 hours of playing, I finally got my dear paladin to 80!  He’s got his epic flyer, he’s using his Titansteel CD, he’s spent his last talent point.

80

Oddly enough, my first reaction when my experience bar finally disappeared was… Now what?

This is quite different from when my Hunter hit 80.  When Brajana hit level 80 I had clear goals.  Get my hit rating capped, run Heroics with guildmates, get that stupid freakin’ crossbow from Heroic UK (it never dropped, BTW), start raiding.

But I don’t have goals for Ghugh.  Heck, I haven’t even decided if I’m going to make him a tank or a DPS!  I doubt I can gear him for both equally.  I also don’t really know any of my guildmates – they are my boyfriend’s guildmates, not mine. Which means Ghugh is lined up for a ton of PUGs.  Do I want to PUG?  I don’t know, I’ve never been such a huge fan.

In fact, once I hit 80, I did a couple more quests, I hearthed to Dalaran and did some banking, and I logged out to go watch some TV.  It was actually very anti-climactic.  I loved leveling my Paladin… will I love playing him at 80 as much?

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The Emblem Ordeal

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

I’m not one for whining about Blizzard’s changes, generally.  I actually hate it when people complain that other people are going to have an easier time getting the same stuff as them.  I don’t care how easy or hard others have it, what I care about is my own gameplay, and how it will be affected by the changes.

So I’ve taken some time to figure out how I really feel about these upcoming Emblem changes.

My overall opinion is that when you’re running Heroics you don’t need T8.  When you’re running Naxx you don’t need T8.  When a dungeon or raid gets too easy then you should move on to the next level.  Not before, not after.

But I can understand some people just want to get their alts to the same level as their mains.  Maybe they want to switch and don’t want to put in the overtime to catch up… I am not sure.

For my main, my Hunter, I don’t really care much about the Emblem stuff.  When 3.2 comes out, chances are we will have cleared the non-hard modes of Ulduar 25 and will be working on hard modes, maybe even have a few of them down.  It’s likely we’ll be moving on to the new raid when it comes out.  We aren’t going to be forced to go back and farm Naxx for Emblems, although I can see this making our off-night raids a bit more popular.

The strange thing is, this patch is supposed to be aimed at ‘casuals’ and alts.  Look!  You can get the 2nd highest shinies by running Heroics!  However, these changes make me quite sad when I think about my Paladin, who is just about to hit 80.

Will Ghugh ever get to see Ulduar?  Doubt it.  Because why would you run Ulduar when you can run Heroics and get the same gear?  Which means if I wanted to raid with him, I’d have to jump from Heroics to T9 raiding.

And that scares me.  What I like is progression, challenge.  Doing Ulduar again on a new character in a different role will make it a whole new challenge for me, but I don’t think anyone will bother running it much when you can get half of your epics from doing Naxx Emblem runs.

All in all, I’m not pleased by these changes.  I can’t know for sure what will happen, but if for some reason I decide to start raiding on my off-nights with my Paladin, he’ll be forced to skip content.  And that is just not cool.

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Losing my Tanking Virginity

Monday, June 15th, 2009

When I first decided to level my paladin, I knew I wanted to try my hand at tanking.  I’ve DPSed on my hunter, I’ve healed on my priest, but I’ve never leveled a character that could tank.

I still managed to get to 75 without giving it a try though.  I’ve run my fair share of dungeons, but with all the Death Knights and Druids around, tanking always seemed to be covered.  I got to DPS, which I really enjoy! (Or ocassionally paladin heal, which I don’t enjoy so much.)

To be honest, I was scared.  How do you tank for the first time with a bunch of strangers?  What if I can’t handle it and cause the group to fail? Ah!  /stress

Well, after getting a hand from Psynister’s tanking guide and reading a bit of the Basic Training forum at Maintankadin, I felt I was ready.  I had my Cobalt Armour all ready to go, and I queued myself up for Utgarde Keep and The Nexus. (You always want your first time to be somewhere familiar and with someone below your level… right?).

Unfortunately, no one else wanted to run those.  So I gave up and shoved myself in the Azjol-Nerub queue.  Have you ever been to AN?  I have only been there twice before.  But the first boss is not friendly.  Once you start on your trash, they keep coming in waves followed by the boss.

[Healer]: WAIT FOR MANA!
[Hunter]: ya srsly!

>.< It was only my first boss fight and I was already getting yelled at!  I tried to explain to them that I wasn’t pulling, the pulls chain pull themselves.  We made it through the fight, even though I died near the end.

The second boss pull is also pretty similar, stuff just keeps coming.  We all survived even though I forgot to move out of the green stuff.  Last boss went pretty smoothly, and I picked up a tanking ring.  I was pretty happy with the run, considering the only person who died was me, and it isn’t really the best instance for your first time tanking.

ghugh_AN

[Healer]: Anyone want to run Old Kingdom??

Well, at least I knew I wasn’t too bad, since they didn’t kick me from the group after the run!  I told them I’ve never  been in there before on any character, so I took a couple minutes to get a quick overview of the place.

And this run went much more smoothly than I expected.  In fact, the one problem was the hunter.  He was a bit too eager.  He decided that since he has Misdirect, he is allowed to decide when to make the pulls.  He also had his pet on Defensive, so whenever he tried to misdirect, his pet would run over and steal aggro.  Argh. I tried to tell him to put his pet on Passive, but he wouldn’t listen.

All in all, the run went well.  I picked up another piece of tanking gear! We had 2 or 3 wipes, but they were all caused by the Hunter’s stupid misdirecting when a pat was near, or misdirecting a group when I was pulling a different group.  I think I did pretty well!

I didn't get a screenshot of the text... Whoops!  I swear it was Ghugh!

I didn't get a screenshot of the text... Whoops! I swear it was Ghugh!

/sigh of relief

Oh, and look at Ghugh’s new spikey shoulders!  Aren’t they pretty?

ghugh_shoulders

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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.