Silent Ice, Raging Fire (Part I)

Afternoon folks…

I’ve got a little series coming up that I’d like to share. It isn’t a blog on a specific subject, but one of my own writings that I thought I’d toss out there. Maybe let you all get a feel for it, and even toss around some editorial comments.

The story is called “Silent Ice, Raging Fire.” It is a compilation of the life of my World of Warcraft Paladin, between the expansions of Wrath of the Lich King and the Cataclysm. It has a couple of twists and turns, and even a little love story attached.

It is a pretty rough draft. I’ve only gone over it a couple times, and made changes here and there, but haven’t really proofread it fully yet. I’m pretty sure that the chronology should be in place, but any comments are welcome.

We’ll start it, after the break…

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The Long Word :: 10/29/2010

Welcome to another edition of The Long Word.  Got some interesting stuff this week.  Including some changes for my Paladin, and some good news for my DK. Lastly, I’ll try to keep everybody up to date with the latest releases and updates from Blizzard.

The Long Word

The Long Word

 “Tanking” Care of Business

Yes, yes… it’s a corny title, so sue me. But it gives me a good start for this part of the post. After reading some of my favorite Tankadin’s blog (Righteous Defense), I decided to give Prot a shot again. I felt a bit lost with Retribution. Sure there were more buttons to push; however, it felt as if there was a lot of waiting, either that or I just had not yet figured out a “rotation” to work with. I usually topped out at aobut 5k dps, and just couldn’t break that barrier. Sure it’s still a good number, but I didn’t want to feel limited by my inept Ret skills, and wanted to go back to something a bit more comfortable.

Boy was it a suprise to see how little comfort was there. I will agree, originally Paladin Protection tanking was a bit of a faceroll.  The same buttons, whenever the popped up, no procs, no Holy Power, the same old same old. That has all changed. I will admit, it is a much more fluid feeling rotation, though the rotation changes dependant on the types of enemies, and yes, it gets  a bit monotonous hitting Crusader Strike every other attack, but wow does it feel so much more structured and fluid.

Per Rhidach

Pull with AS > CS > J > CS > HW > CS > ShoR > CS > J > CS > AS > CS > Shor > CS > J > CS > HW > CS > ShoR > CS > AS > CS > J > CS > ShoR > etc.

The rotation looks a bit complicaated, but isn’t that bad. It’s donned the name “939”, and though can be considered  a rotation, requires for you to watch for procs, and have patience on using abilities “as they light up.”

A big change, is the fact that Holy Shield is no longer cast on yourself, but rather placed as a buff upon using Shield of the Righteous. Speaking of ShoR… it hits like a truck with 3 Holy Power… just keep that in mind ;)  It is important to get the ShoR of as soon as possible though, so that you have that extra block buffer up.  It will normally last until you have built up the Holy Power to place a full power ShoR, so get it up as soon as you can.

Threat

This is a tough subject.  First up, you automatically get Vengeance upon choosing Protection.  This converts some of the damage done to you to Attack Power, allowing you to hit a bit harder, in turn generating more threat. Next up is the good ol standby of Righteous Fury. This still provides us with the threat we need, as well as… if I’m not mistaken… our ability to be uncrittable (defense cap’d).

I was able to tank a few heroics last night, and discovered that our front side threat has really dropped from what it was.  And, to tell you the truth, AoE threat has appeared to have been lowered as expected. But it took me a little whlie to realize it.  First of all, I had forgotten to use Hammer of the Righteous whenever tanking groups… oops, give me a break here, it was only my first or second instance since 4.0.1.  I had gotten so used to being able to use HoR as an extra attack when tanking groups, that I forgot the fact that it and Crusader Strike are exclusive from each other, and now share a cooldown. This did however, teach me how flexible our new rotation is. I was able to go from AoE tanking a group using HoR down to a single target focus by replacing HoR with CS on the fly, allowing me to keep threat up on a single target while the DPS burns it.

As I mentioned earlier, it feels very fluid, and the spells seem to work very well with each other. By the end of the night, I had pretty much gotten the rotation down pat, and was still hitting about 3k dps on the charts.

Tasty Holy Buffs

With the latest info released, it looks like several of our holy spells are getting a nice buffs.  Check out the list below:

  • Holy Radiance‘s effectiveness now diminish on targets farther than x yards away.
  • Divine Light base healing has been increased by 30%. From 8538-9512 to 11100-12366 (!).
  • Flash of Light base healing has been increased by 30%. From 5313-5961 to 6907-7750.
  • Holy Shock base healing has been increased by 30%. From 3033-3285 to 3943-4271.
  • Holy Light base healing has been increased by 30%. From 3202-3567 to 4162-4637.
  • Beacon of Light now lasts 5 min, up from 1 min.
  • Mastery: Illuminated Healing now absorbs 10% of the amount healed, up from 8%. Now lasts 8 sec, up from 6 sec. Each point of mastery increases the absorb amount by an additional 1.25%, up from 1%.
  • Lay on Hands no longer restores mana.
  • Holy Wrath now scales from 61% of SpellPower, up from 30%. Base damage reduced by 22%, from 3122 to 2435.
  • Exorcism now scales from 34.4% of SpellPower or AP, up from 15%. Base damage increased by 15% from 2343 to 2741.

In the words of the Almighty Cthuloo… “Yum Yum!”

So, let’s begin:

Holy Radiance
This actually did not come as a surprise to me.  I expected that you couldn’t run across the raid, and heal everybody for the same amount.  That really just seemed to be a bit overpowered to me.  So this change, was sort of expected. I still can’t wait to get this spell though.

Divine Light
Holy tauren… them thar numbers is quite large. And to think that those are base numbers, not buffed by spell power or any other healing buffs. Ever since 4.0.1 came out, I felt that Divine Light was a bit weak for its status as the heal bomb. But now with these “enhanced” numbers, I feel that we’ll begin to see some huge heals again, and possibly some more use of this spell.

Flash of Light
Yup, it’s still potent, and yup, it’s still expensive.  However, I have a feeling (since I haven’t really done any raids since 4.0.1) that it will still be used, and now be spammed as much as Holy Light was back in the day. It feels so strange to not use it as my go-to spell, but it’s quick cast is so very nice combined with it’s big numbers.

Holy Shock
Not a whole lot to say, like the other healing spells, it got a nice buff in base potency, and in turn should mean a little quicker turn around on tanks after damage spikes.

Holy Light
Our “go to” spell, though still slow as Christmas (unless a proc is present), did get a little bit of a buff as well. Again, not much different here, besides the base potency change.

Beacon of Light (!)
Oh shout praise and joy to the Heavens! Beacon of Light is now a 5 minute buff!  That is a very big change.  One thing that it will save is an extra global cooldown.  I’ve always had those moments, when I need to get some big heals out, but also notice that the Beacon is starting to drop off of the tank, or my beacon target.  This change will be huge.  Next is the mana savings.  With Beacon’s cost having been dropped as of 4.0.1 (6% base mana), it still is not an easy decision to make when you are running on fumes. But now that you will likely only have to cast it once maybe twice a fight, there is a good bit of savings there.

As for the Glyph to go with it, it now removes the mana cost… hmmm… not much of a help considering you will likely have regained enough mana to cast it tenfold by the time it would fall off after 5 minutes.  Means it’s time to take another look at my glyphs.  Or just follow Tarinae’s advice and go with the Cleanse Glyph in it’s place.

Mastery: Illuminated Healing
This new central mechanic of our class has gotten a nice initial buff of a 2% increase to the amount absorbed. In addition, an extra .25% is earned with each point of Mastery added.  I’m not really sure of the reasoning behind this; however, it is a welcome addition.

Lay on Hands
Well, it no longer returns mana as well as HP.  This is not that big of a deal to me, as I was not using it to return mana, but rather save a tank from the brink of death (or get huge numbers on Valithria Dreamwalker). It does have an effect on the Glyph though, which has now been changed to simply return 10% mana to you upon using it on another target.  This is a welcome change, as it provides the same amount of mana return as Divine Plea would, but without the Healing debuff.

Holy Wrath
The damage output of this spell is now buffed by over twice as much spellpower now (61% up from 30%), though the base damage has been dropped by 22%. I’ve yet to really work these numbers in game, but some quick napkin math says that it’s about a 300 damage boost:

Original (with 3100 spellpower):
3122 (base) + 930 (30% SP) = 4052

New (with 3100 spellpower):
2435 (base) + 1891 (61% SP) = 4326

Nothing huge, but a nice little buff nonetheless. It very well may scale better with Ret and Prot, but I don’t have many numbers to work with there.

Exorcism
Again, like Holy Wrath, not much use for a Holy Paladin, but it too has been buffed to scale a bit higher via Spellpower or Attack Power (I’m assuming whichever is higher).

Original (with 3100 Spellpower):
2343 (base) + 465 (15% SP) = 2808

New (with 3100 Spellpower):
2741 (base) + 1066.4 (34.4% SP) = 3807.4

It is about a 1000 damage increase… very nice.

The Longer Word

Well, that’s all for the paladin class that I have got for this week. I’m sure I’ll have more as I get back into doing a few raids.

In other news though, I finally got my Horseman’s Mount.  I actually got it after my son watched me take down the HH, and was about to head into the living room to play with some cars.  I opened the pumpkin (which I thought I had not gotten since I thought my bags were full), and apparently had one slot left in my bags.  So there went a stack of chilled meat… oh well, very much worth the mount,  haha.  Simply put, I’ve basically slowed down doing that fight anymore on my paladin, though have been hitting him up on my death knight.

Speaking of my Death Knight, he’s now getting close to half way through level 79.  I hope to hit 80 this weekend.  Sadly this will only be my second max level character. He has been fun to play though, an interesting difference from the paladin. He’s also my money maker, selling glyphs left and right.  But I’ll have more on him later.

Until next week… Light be with you.

Tank Validation and Accountability

Tanks make mistakes too.

Tanks make mistakes too.

I’ve decided to continue this series on my observations about how different roles are treated. I’ve already hit the big one to me, and that is healing. Next, I plan to point out some of the faults blamed on tanks, including a story from a fellow tank and friend of mine.

Like healing, tanking is often a required role in a group. Not always, at least 98% of the time in 5 mans, but 100% in raids. The short and sweet is that if you do not have a meat shield on the front lines, you are going to become that meat shield. That mound of flesh wrapped in plate (or furry leather) armor is there to get punched in the face repeatedly so you don’t have to. Because of this, they too should be treated with a certain level of respect. In addition to their normal duties, Tanks also often are placed in a position of leadership, whether they like it or not.

For nearly 6 months, I would tank on my Paladin. It was a nice change of pace, but also changed my view of how a tank’s job works. I remember when I first started the dungeon crawl, that the tank was allowed a certain amount of time at the beginning of a pull to gain aggro. This was before threat became such an easy thing to come by. Back when Warriors had to get a certain number of Sunder Armors off before the raid or group even thought about casting anything. Now-a-days, from what I’ve noticed, that is no longer the case. It is now a race to the end of the dungeon, and a test to see who can kill the mob faster. Normally this wouldn’t bother me, as quick runs mean quick rewards, but it can cause problems as well.

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Class Previews

This week should be fun.  Blizzard is releasing Cataclysm class previews throughout the week.  I hope to be  all inclusive and begin to provide info for each class as it is released.

Though it may not be paladin related, I will be providing ALL classes in the next few posts.  This post here will be used as a landing ground for each, with small comments and links to the full notes.

Enjoy the info as it becomes available, and please no QQ, I just waxed the floors.

Shaman Class PreviewShaman Class Preview
April 07, 2010
11:00 am CST

Warlock Class PreviewWarlock Class Preview
April 07, 2010
3:00 pm CST

Priest Class PreviewPriest Class Preview
April 08, 2010
2:00 am CST

Warrior Class PreviewWarrior Class Preview
April 08, 2010
11:00 am CST

Death Knight Class PreviewDeath Knight Class Preview
April 08, 2010
8:00 pm CST

Rogue Class previewRogue Class Preview
April 09, 2010
1:00 am CST

Hunter Class PreviewHunter Class Preview
April 09, 2010
11:00 am CST

Druid Class PreviewDruid Class Preview
April 09, 2010
9:15 pm CST

Mage Class PreviewMage Class Preview
April 10, 2010
1:57 am CST

Paladin Class PreviewPaladin Class Preview
April 14, 2010
7:00 am CST

Shared Topic: Starting Over

I just recently joined up on the Blog Azeroth site. It looks like there are a ton of folks out there with WoW blogs… my blog reader will be hurting more than it already is soon.

I had read several of the shared topics before, but had never thought to join in, and this specific topic looked like a good bit of fun.  Basically, if I had the chance to start over, with another character at level 80 (or level 1 depending on whether I like to level or not… which I don’t), what class/race/faction would it be?

I have made attempts at this with alts, and have had a lot of fun with all of them… but I always end up going back to Khraden (my Paladin).  Sure I’ve leveled my DK almost to 75 now, and he is slowing gaining ground, but I still feel like I’m leaving my paladin out.

Now, if I had the opportunity, I would probably choose another class, if not at least to try it out.  There are a couple of classes that I’d choose though.

Warlock:
I’ve always wanted to have a caster, and why not one of the quintesential caster stereotypes.  Mostly because of the cool backstory that I could create for him, but also the fact that he is almost a polar opposite of all that my Paladin stands for.  Just the fact that he summons demons would be enough to separate him from Khraden.

I have yet however to level one very far.  I believe that my highest level Warlock is a level 14 Undead named Dreadvein (over on Ner’zhul I believe).  Didn’t go to far with him, not only because he didn’t have any financial backing, but also because I just couldn’t get into the swing of the early leveling with him.

I do, truly enjoy some of the set pieces that Warlocks have though, very dark, very sinister, and everything my paladin isn’t.

The other option that I would choose is–
Rogue:
I have always wanted to have a purely melee dps character, and the Rogue perfectly fits that bill.  Much like the Warlock, he would also seem to fill that spot opposite my Paladin.  The story could be darker, and possibly a rough upbringing lead him to his current path.  In addition to the opposing factors, the abilities and utilities of Rogues just seem to be fun.

Like the warlock, I also do enjoy the set pieces that Rogues have, it really encompasses the stealthiness a rogue should have (though in some cases some of the spikes go a bit far).

I do have a DK, which for all purposes of the class is the anti-paladin; but playing him just seems to close to playing a paladin (in that they where plate, use 2handers, and beat the crap out of stuff when in a melee dps position).  Maybe eventually I’ll break down and level another class all the way.  Time will tell.