Archive | February, 2010

3.3.3 Patch Note Musings

As Ferarro of Paladin Schmaladin has extensively covered the Paladin changes in 3.3.3 here (oh, sarcasm), I thought I’d take some random parcels of change-y goodness and see what I could do with it:

  • Players who use the Vote Kick option will now be prompted to provide a reason for kicking a party member. This reason will be presented to everyone in the party except for the person voted to be kicked.

Hilarious. Let’s all PRAY that it’s a fill-in-the-blank form, the contents of which appear to all voters and to the kickee after they are kicked.

On a more serious note, that’s a terrible idea I had there. Funny for the first five minutes? Yes. Funny after every “undergeared” individual gets continually kicked from groups? No. What it most likely will amount to is a few options to choose from, such as “Bad connection”, “AFK”, or “Blindingly drunk”. Maybe.

  • Many quests which require vehicles have had their vehicle mechanics updated and improved in the interest of fun.

If by combining the terms ‘updated vehicle mechanics’ and ‘fun’, Blizzard means ‘removing all vehicle encounters from the game,’ then I would agree with this update. I don’t think vehicles can be fixed; taking a player, with dozens of spells and (presumably) a deep understanding of those spells, and placing them into a vehicle with 3 or 4 buttons is ludicrous. If people want to play a ret paladin, let them level one, don’t force them.

  • Brain Freeze: This talent now allows your next Fireball or Frostfire Bolt to be instant and cost no mana. There is a small internal cooldown to keep the Frostfire Bolt from immediately triggering Brain Freeze again.

I don’t really see this as necessary. Fireball hits harder; why would a leveling frost mage want to throw out a free Frostfire Bolt? Endgame, on the other hand… Who raids as frost? I mean, sure, those free FFBs would be affected by all of the damage-increasing talents that frost mages get, but arcane is sooooooo much sweeter.

2 minute Evocation?
Highest single-target DPS?
Rotation so simple, a blindfolded pelican could play it?

Squack on, young pelican, squack on.

Real Paladins Wear Dresses

Just because, a long while ago, I promised a certain Bossy Pally that I’d make this post…

BAM! Sexy dress time!

I know a few paladins do not care for our leg pieces to appear as dresses. I, however, feel that it conveys a certain pomp and circumstance, an elegance in between bloody, skull-crushing swings of your weapon of choice.

What I need from you readers is your opinion: what tabard should I represent that would look the best? Our guild tabard is white and doesn’t go well at all. So leave some comments with your thoughts!

Oh, and if you check out my Armory, I picked up a mace in ICC 10. That’ll stave off the blog-renaming crew for now. Huzzah!

Heroics – A Lesson in Etiquette

 I wanted to touch on a topic near and dear to my heart. I’ve been trying to gear up my resto shaman, and finish off my prot set on my paladin, so I’ve been hitting heroics pretty hard. As such, I’ve experienced both the tanking and healing sides of random heroic groups. There are a number of things that are understood in groups, and a number of things that should be understood, but unfortunately aren’t. So let’s just dive in here and open this can of worms.

Tanking
Let me just start off by saying that I’m not a pro tank. I’m no Rhidach or Wrathy. I tank heroics and maybe off-tank 10 mans. I don’t have any tanking specific mods and only one tanking specific macro.

However, there are a few basic tenets of heroic dungeon etiquette that I feel tanks never receive.

First, and primarily, the issue of aggro control is a measure used by “skilled” DPS to gauge a tank’s worth. However, when you attack a mob before the tank can get aggro, and/or then continually out-threat the tank, that’s not the tank’s fault, its your’s. Get Omen, stop being an idiot, and don’t pull threat. It’s pretty simple.

Here’s a neat trick to see if your tank has what it takes: after the tank pulls, count to 5 out loud, and then start attacking. If you pull aggro without using a taunt, then he probably needs to work on something. That, or you are just disgustingly epic.

Secondly, some DPS (and healers, surprisingly) like to speed the runs up by pulling and then hoping the tank will take aggro off them. Do NOT do this. It pisses tanks off. Often times I let them die, then pick it up. If I play their game, they are never going to learn their lesson. Let the tank determine the pace of the run, because if your tank dies, your group will probably be following close behind.

Healing
Healing on my resto shaman isn’t that hard. Granted, my gear isn’t that good, so I can’t spit out LHW’s like dolla dolla bills out of MC Hammer’s bank account, but it’s still not terrible. For the healing side of things, I only really have one piece of advice:

Don’t ignore fight mechanics and expect me to heal you through damage! That just smacks of laziness and should get you booted from the party. In fact, I remember in doing BC heroics when doing stupid things like that did get you kicked, because BC heroics were hard.

Nowadays, if there is a void zone, your game will tell you not to stand in it because when you stand in it you die. When you get mirrored on the last boss of Forge of Souls, you better hope your group-mates stop DPS because not every healer can heal through that damage. If you don’t know the fights, ask someone (politely) to explain it or *gasp* look it up on Wowhead.

That’s it for now. Go forth and remember, when grinding heroics, DPS responsibly.

Something’s Different…

I’m going to be futzing with my layout for a little while, so please bear with it. What I have up now is a work-in-progress, but only a few things have to changed around.

Please let me know what you think and if you have any thoughts/comments/suggestions! Thanks!

My Last Fortnight… In Picture Form!

 

 

No more mace :(  But that sword is sexy!

Just goofin’ off before an ICC raid.

Oh, Princes. Here’s to you three and your epic powers of getting raiders to pull their heads out of their asses.

Yeah, 10m Putricide. OT didn’t know how to work the Abomb thing, hence the puddles.

Trying the door strat on 25 ToGC Twin Val’kyrs. Couldn’t quite get it, but I found it hilarious packing everyone in that little doorway.

Fresh 80 with my only epic being Merlin’s Robe and I pulled almost 3k DPS on the last boss of H-Gun’Drak as FFB. Sup?

Who You Gonna Call?

Just a quickie post before I throw up a bunch of screenshots that I’ve been too lazy to deal with.

I tanked an in-guild 10m ICC last night. We only got up to Saurfang (and kept wiping because we had a mage that didn’t know what Ice Block was), but I was pleasantly surprised at how little I messed up. I was pretty much the offtank, because I had like 42k health and our DK tank had 47k. /jealous

Anyway, it was a blast. I really enjoyed seeing raiding from a different perspective like that. Having to work together with the other tank on fights like Marrowgar and Saurfang add a new dimension to raiding. As DPS, you just have to avoid dying and MAYBE do a few special things (kiting the adds on Saurfang without getting owned by them), but tanking is really an exercise in teamwork.

I enjoyed it so much that I think I’m going to do it again next week!

Like I said, next post will be a bunch of random screenshots for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

Chasing a Ghost Through Icecrown Citadel

I’m toying with the idea of starting up a 10-man ICC group in my guild because all of the current 10-mans are full. The raid leaders of those 10-mans might be a bit pissed at me if I do, because a couple of my RL friends would drop their 10-mans (maybe) and join mine so we could all raid and chill together.

Shocked? I am. I almost NEVER step up and try to lead. Why? Because leading is a pain in the ass. There are so many things to manage and know, from fight mechanics and ideal raid comps, to delegation of roles and handling internal disputes.

I like people, but I hate people. I like the person, but I hate people in general; that’s probably a better way of putting it. “Why?”, you may ask, “People are all nice and kind and bunches of fun!”

Let me enlighten you.

==============================

My first job was working at McDonald’s. However, I tend not to tell people that because:

a) I only worked there for a month, and
b) It was terribly embarrassing to work at McDonald’s. Oh hey, girl x from my English class, how’s… oh, you want a double cheeseburger meal, eh?

I wasn’t actually a cashier there, that would’ve been glorious. I worked the grill and, on days I considered “blessed,” the dress table / toppings line. But none of that is important.

My second job was working for one of our local grocery stores, on maintenance. Pushing carts, moping floors, cleaning bathrooms… I did it all for $6.50 an hour. If I had a paycheck over $120 for the week, I was happy. Although it wasn’t the most distinguished job, I stuck with it; I mean, it was NO McDonald’s, and for that I was happy. There was a fair amount of freedom bestowed upon me; as long as my duties for the hour were completed, I was free to go and do as I wished; my manager had nothing approaching the hawk-like watching powers of the managers at Mickey D’s.

About six months after I started, I was promoted to cashiering. Nice pay raise from my meager wage on maintenance, but it had its difficulties too.

Quick summary of cashiering for you bastards that have never cashiered:

1) Loooooooong hours,
2) Extremely low task variability (as a result, I almost never left my register; my poor legs),
3) Seldom, if ever, have positive interactions with customers.

As a cashier, I was in the tight grip of the head cashier, who we called the customer service manager (CSM). I had to bargain with the CSM to even use the restroom, which mocked me from a mere 20 feet away. My breaks were assigned to me. My movement was restricted. My efficiency and courtesy was nearly never rewarded. The oppression of the CSM seemed never-ending; cashiering, a dead-end oasis of simultaneous solitude and congestion.

After three arduous months, I was moved to the frozen/dairy department (technically not a promotion, but I considered it a benediction). Suddenly, the cold corner of the store became my domain. Except in the mornings, I worked alone. I decided what to do, when to do it, when to go on break, when to go to the bathroom… Everything! Oh man, I was free!

But time passed and the novelty soon wore off as I realized that, even discounting the store managers, I was not truly free, for it is the customers that rule the aisles. When someone asked me to get something for them, it was not so much a request as a demand. When the customer complained, something needed to be done immediately to remedy the situation.

Don’t get me wrong, I know how business works (sorta) and I know that, in order to stay in business, you can’t treat your customers like crap. That aside, taking charge of the entire frozen/dairy department in the afternoon hours of Thanksgiving / Christmas Eve / Independence Day, all alone, taught me some valuable lessons.

First, the individual customer is less of a monster than a Baby Blizzard Bear. People, on the other hand, an amorphous collection of individuals, are more akin to the Scourge.

GOOD

NOT VERY GOOD AT ALL

Second, leadership isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, you may enjoy it for brief periods, but those zombies will get you eventually. Then it’s going to be a brain buffet, if you have any left that is.

But hey, I could be wrong.

All I Really Need is a Shiny Weapon


After all that bitching about not getting that mace in ICC 25, I PuGed a ICC 10 in my guild (yes, we had to form a group randomly because the pre-established groups are full) and lo and behold:

Citadel Enforcer’s Claymore

and

Whispering Fanged Skull

BOOM! A new weapon… finally! And a new trinket? Ok!

Problem though: do I rename my blog? I no longer have a mace, but I will raid…

What do you guys think? Should I rename the blog to something more general and universally applicable, or keep it the way it is?

Go Team! Becoming an Effective and Reliable Raider

To follow up the previous post’s negativity, I thought I’d touch on some cheery, sentimental stuff. Let’s see, I’m just gonna dig through the trash bin of my post ideas…. Ah, here it is!

That’s right, baby, teamwork.

I’m sure many of you have heard all about teamwork, from your raid leaders, guild leaders, whiny battleground leaders (I laugh at your randomly-bestowed position of power), coaches, teachers, parents… phew. Each of these individuals recognize the power of a properly constructed and maintained group.

Fortunately, I’m not going to preach about how awesome groups are. I’d probably get sick of myself real quick. What I am going to go over, however, is a raider’s responsibilities in a raid group.

And by raider, of course, I mean ret paladin.

When enjoying new content, raid responsibly.

First and foremost, COME PREPARED!!! That means the following:

  • Read up / watch videos on boss strats
  • Bring enough flasks to cover the entire raid period, plus one or two extra
  • Bring your own buff food (yes, it is possible that your raid can run out of Fish Feasts) i.e. Dragonfin Filet
  • Have your gear repaired before entering the instance
  • Have enough reagents to cast Wisdom on the dumb shaman that doesn’t remember that Mana Spring Totem overrides your Wisdom (there are still people that don’t realize this… *irked*)

Got all that? Good. Now, here’s a big one: show up on time! Wait, no; show up at least 5 minutes early. Sitting on your ass for 5 minutes isn’t going to kill you, and it’s going to show your raid leader / guild leader that you’re on top of your game and that you care about raiding.

When you got your spot in the raid and you’re nice and cozy, you’re getting close to being a team player. I have two remaining suggestions. The first?

Don’t be this guy. Although that’s a good idea…

Pay attention! By this, I do not mean focus on DPSing the boss, staring at your rotation and hitting attacks the moment they come off cooldown. I mean be aware of the fight. In other words, you need to develop a sense of situational awareness. Rhidach has a good post on the topic from a while back that’s definitely worth a look. Your DPS isn’t gonna do any good when you die from standing in a void zone / fire / other generic idiot trap. Watch what’s happening around you; don’t fall for the idiot traps.

The second: communication and listening comprehension. Ok, that’s kind of two things, but they’re fairly related. If there’s a mob loose, speak up! Don’t be afraid to talk in Vent; if it saves a wipe and ensures a kill, it’s worth it. Do not, however, blabber over Vent during attempts, or even during raid time. The raid leader and his or her assistants are trying to coordinate a group of 25 people to do one, solitary task. Don’t be an asshat.

As for listening comprehension, LISTEN! Yeah, it’s that simple. Turn your Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez down (don’t worry, you can have it playing softly in the background, which is actually how I like to listen to my Mil…. ahem, moving on). Being able to hear everyone in Vent is crucial. Well, almost everyone; at the very least, your tanks, healers, and raid leader.

In fact, fellow ret paladins and melee DPS classes are fairly important too if they have something to say… Ok, I’m changing my answer back to everyone. It’s my blog, I do what I want.

Not only do you need to be cognizant of what people are saying, you need to instantly process this information and act on it. If your raid leader or other authority figure tells you to switch targets, you switch targets. Switch your seal if you have to, just be on top of it. If you are told NOT to bubble, DON’T bubble. I know, I know, bubbling is fun and exciting, but save that cooldown when necessary. Unfortunately we don’t spec into Divine Sacrifice anymore since the nerf; RaidSac provided a great example of both listening comprehension and situational awareness in providing your entire raid a mini-Shield Wall.

We can still reminisce on such glorious former responsibilities though.

In essence, just use common sense, pay attention, and be willing to follow some orders to get stuff done. I mean, come on, the Lich King ain’t gonna kill himself, right?