Archive | July, 2010

Change Can Be a Good Thing

Seriously, if someone finds a muse with “Belongs to Antigen” written on it in black Sharpie, let me know. My inspiration to write and my creativity while doing so lately is severely lacking.

Anyway, I did it; I made the switch. No, not to GEICO, to Enveloping Shadows!

I had to sneak up on Rhidach and take a screenshot quick before he ran off and into a wall.

It was tough to leave Thunderlord. The people in my 10-man are awesome. I hope they forgive me and take my boomkin in my paladin’s stead. He doesn’t use Starfall on all the trash, I promise.

I got into Ana’s 10-man on Sunday for my first taste of ES raiding. We did a full clear, with a lot of heroic modes and achievements to get both Ana and Slorail their drakes. Congrats again guys, those drakes are awesome!

By the way, yes, I was punching the Lich King while we waited for the plague to stack to 30 for Been Waiting a Long Time for This. Sadly, I did not max out my Unarmed skill.

Apparently, in ES, they pull the second drake before Sindy up the stairs and kill it in order to glitch her out so they can go over stuff with her ready to pull. Or, as in the case of our 25m, Rhi runs around with Sindy and tries to get as many people cleaved as possible in the process of reseting her!

In my first 25m run with Enveloping Shadows, we did all of Lower Spire on heroic, getting a guild first kill on heroic LDW, and finished off the evening with heroic Blood Princes.

The next night we did BQL, Rotface, and Festergut on heroic, Putricide on normal, Sindy for a few attempts on heroic but ultimately put on normal, and Lich King one-shot on normal. I was pretty impressed, to say the least.

The whole time we were raiding, the attitude never wavered from the jovial (well, when we were working on heroic LDW, Frank did pop his head up to say hello, but it wasn’t too bad). If most ES raids proceed like they did over the last two nights, I think I might never leave.

A big thanks to Rhidach for the invitation to join his team and to the rest of ES for making me feel at home!

Paladin Twitter Dev Chat: Because They Just Can’t Seem to Get Us Right

I normally don’t pay attention to much of this, but these are such huge changes that, if implemented, will alter the playstyle of pretty much every paladin in the World of Warcraft… I can’t resist that bandwagon! Let’s go!

Q. Any thought to having Retribution paladins use spell power plate to help put Holy paladins on equal footing as other healers?
A. We think Retribution paladins needs to use strength plate. Changing this would require a lot of funky solutions, such as how we handle Crusader Strike damage, and trying to control Retribution from being too powerful a healer. We realize it’s odd to itemize spell power plate for one specialization, but we think all of the solutions to this issue are worse than just living with it.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing them redesign all of our abilities to scale off spell power again. It seems ludicrous that spell power plate exists for one spec of one class, but strength plate is used by five specs spread over three classes.

And as for making ret too powerful an off-healer; how about a holy-esque version of Righteous Fury? Perhaps make healing spells cost a LOT of mana, and give holy paladins a talent/aura/spell that decreases healing spell mana cost by 50/75%?

In essence, what Blizzard is saying is that they’re too lazy to rework all of that. Whatevs, devs.

Q: What is the goal when re-designing the paladin class? How do you plan to change rotations, talents, etc?
A. All of the paladin specializations will make use of a new resource called Holy Power. Holy Power accumulates from using Crusader Strike, Holy Shock, and some other talents. Holy Power can be consumed to augment a variety of abilities, including:

  • An instant mana-free heal: Word of Glory
  • A buff to increase holy damage done: Inquisition
  • A massive physical melee attack for Retribution paladins: Templar’s Verdict
  • Holy Shield’s duration is now extended by Holy Power
  • Divine Storm’s damage is now increased by Holy Power

We also introduced several new heals for Holy Paladins including Healing Hands (an AoE heal-over-time that is applied to all players standing near the paladin), Light of Dawn (a cone heal with a 30-yard range), as well as a new heal called Divine Light, which is similar to a priest’s Greater Heal, and the new instant heal mentioned above, Word of Glory.

Say we’re in Hyjal or something and are grinding mobs absent-mindedly, as I am prone to do from time to time. As a result, we’ve accumulated a full bar of Holy Power and have just been sitting on it without using it. All of a sudden, a dirty Alliance/Horde flies down to start some shit. “Not in my house!” we yell as we charge across the battlefield. Judgement, Divine Storm, Crusader Strike… oh wait, full Holy Power, TEMPLAR’S VERDICT!!!!! MASSIVE EXPLOSIONS!!11one!

Not only do we get a “massive attack” in Templar’s Verdict, but if the Holy Power damage modifier to Divine Storm is passive rather than active (i.e. doesn’t use up Holy Power, but instead scales with how much you have at the time), then prepare for a real cataclysm… of tears and anguish and OMG WATCH OUT FOR THAT RET!!

In short, the return of ret burst? I thought we wanted to steer away from that. While I’m all for the OP deliciousness that this appears to be, don’t expect it to be a one-shot button… at least not for the whole expansion.

Q: Are Protection paladins still going to refresh Divine Plea on melee hit (via a talent or trained ability)?
A. Yes.

Thank God.

Q: Can you give us a sneak peek at one or two of the new Retribution abilities or talents?
A. Templar’s Verdict: An instant weapon attack that causes a percentage of weapon damage. Consumes all applications of Holy Power to increase damage dealt:

  • 1 Holy Power: 55% Weapon Damage
  • 2 Holy Power: 125% Weapon Damage
  • 3 Holy Power: 225% Weapon Damage

Word of Glory: Consumes all Holy Power to heal a friendly target for a specific amount per application of Holy Power (0 mana cost, 0 cooldown, instant cast).

So the max amount of Holy Power applications is 3 stacks (or whatever). And a “free” 225% weapon damage melee attack? Go, number crunchers, go! Math isn’t quite my forte.

Q: If Judgement of Wisdom is being removed from the game, are paladins getting a new Judgement so we don’t all have to use Judgement of Light?
A. There will only be one Judgement spell. This spell places a single debuff on the target with the effects currently associated with Judgement of Light and Judgement of Justice. The Judgement of Wisdom effect has been retired completely.

Damnit. OOMadin? No, it’s not Megan and Jong’s love child, it’s what I fear could happen to rets if we don’t get some other form of passive mana regen. Maybe that’s the check on the bursty burst; you’ll go OOM if you hit your buttons too hard? Intriguing…

Q: Are the improved aura talents going away? They were still present in beta.
A. If you mean talents like Improved Devotion Aura, then those are gone. We still have talents that, say, increase healing on targets of your auras. Improved Concentration Aura still exists. In general, though, you shouldn’t have to worry about having raid buffs of different power competing with each other.

Good riddance. Clearing up clutter FTW.

Refrigerator

If anyone finds a cat with my tongue, please let me know.

I think he was last seen near a writer’s block.

On a stump.

Bleh.

Retribution Leveling: 11-20

Well, it’s ah… been a while, ha ha, since I have made a post…

Sorry, that’s a little inside joke I have with some of the people I went to Germany with, none of whom read this blog, so you could say that it’s superfluous, but I miss those times, so ha.

I’ve gotten into the leveling grind, I have. Between Judgements, I watched some old Voyager re-runs, chatted with friends, didn’t work for a week and a half, and generally did absolutely nothing with my life. Glorious.

You’ll notice that I’ve added a feed reader for my paladin on Lightninghoof. As a proud member of Enveloping Shadows, I am blazing through the shattered world of Outland on my way to face the Lich King’s minions… erm, yeah. It’s an RP-PvP server, thought I’d get into… Yeah, I’ll stop now.

Before we get into this second tier of levels, I’d like to thank Rhidach, Anafielle, and all of the people in ES for the guild invite and for the lively green-colored chatter I see popping up on my screen all the time. I’m slowly starting to get a feel for the residents of the guild and truly enjoying my stay!

Talents

Here is what I feel is your optimal talent build for Retribution leveling up until level 20.

0/0/11

In short, take Benediction 5/5 (levels 10-14), then Improved Judgements 2/2 (levels 15-16), Heart of the Crusader 3/3 (levels 17-19), and Seal of Command 1/1 (level 20).

I included a major and minor glyph, which both become available at level 15. I went with Glyph of Judgement for the major, because:

  1. You’ll be using Judgement a lot. I mean it. A L-O-T. 10% extra damage on your primarily primariest of spells is a good thing.
  2. Mana isn’t a terrible issue at these levels, and Seal of Command isn’t even available until 20, so Glyph of Seal of Command can be postponed.
  3. … Glyph of Seal of Command was damn expensive on Lightninghoof. So I guess I defaulted to Judgement out of thrift. But still, the point about mana holds, as long as you don’t Consecrate every inch of Azeroth on your way to 80.

Use the time between levels 20 and 30 to make some gold so you can purchase that glyph when you get there.

How, you may ask? Simple: DON’T LEVEL FIRST AID. I don’t care what ‘experts’ say, it’s a waste of time and gold. You’re a paladin: toss a FoL on yourself and call it a day. There may be a select few situations in which bandages might do you some good (especially in Cata, it seems, but hey, that’s a few months away at least), but overall, you can heal yourself.

Take that cloth (especially the lower tiers of cloth) and sell it on the AH. I saw stacks of Wool Cloth going for 20g and up. Hawtness.

Back to glyphs, the minor I chose (Glyph of Blessing of Might) was more for convenience than anything. This way, you only have to rebuff both spells once every half hour, which means more time to kill wolves and murlocs.

Level 12

Here you’ll see an upgrade to your Might, Judgement of Wisdom (more on this later), and your Resurrection spell quest. Go do it now, especially if you’re going to do dungeons and cheat on me as holy.

Level 14

Upgraded Wisdom and Holy Light, as well as Righteous Defense. The namesake of Rhidach’s blog is useful… for prot paladins. No way! I wouldn’t even put it on your bar at this point in your soloing career. However, grouping may find a use for this button.

Level 16

An upgraded Ret Aura, Righteous Fury (which is another case of “not unless tanking”), and an ability I’ve grown to love: Hand of Reckoning.

Take a minute to drink it in. A 30 yard taunt that damages the target if it’s not targeting you. Even better is that the damage incurred scales with our AP. Are you peeing yourself yet? You should be. Let me give you an example.

I was on my paladin earlier this morning, doing a quest loop in Zangarmarsh in order to hit 64 before I had to leave for work. So I was walking down this path, doo dee doo, and all of the sudden I see a village of weird Umbrafen things. Apparently I needed to kill very specific amounts of them for a quest, so I go up to the first one (which had about 4,000 HP) and hit Hand of Reckoning while I was running into melee range.

BOOM! Hand of Reckoning crits for 1000 damage!

While I was a few levels higher than this mob, Hand of Reckoning is still another damn button to push for us, especially at the aforementioned level 16.

Use it to pull everything, use it to pull mobs away from other mobs, use it to pull my finger.

Don’t use it in a dungeon or other tanking situation where you aren’t the one taking the beating.

Oh, and another amazing thing about Hand of Reckoning; you can easily pick off runners with it! When a mob “runs away from you in fear,” it detargets you and flees. Take advantage of this opportunity and snipe it with a taunt. Most times, the damage will be just enough to kill the fleeing mob.

Level 18

Hand of Freedom. Amazingly useful spell, put it on a keybind (mine is “F”).

Level 20

The moment you’ve been waiting for: free mount! Go to your class trainer and learn Summon Warhorse. You’ll automatically get Apprentice Riding and your Warhorse in your Mounts tab.

Oh, and you get a few other cool things too:

And an upgraded Devo Aura.

In general, don’t use Consecration unless you’re fighting 3+ mobs (maybe even 2+, depending on  your ability to burn down the first quickly), don’t use Blessing of Kings unless you’re fighting things substantially higher in level than you and you feel the extra HP would be of benefit, and don’t cast Exorcism unless you’re trying to get hold of a caster and your Hand of Reckoning missed.