Thursday, June 25, 2009

Through The Eyes Of The Leader: Introduction

Wow, it is Thursday already? Time flies when you do not feel so well. Oh well, continuing in the rollout of new on-going series here on Holy Shock, let me introduce you to the weekly post that will focus on the life of a guild leader! Through this series I hope to share with everyone what goes into running a guild. I realize that every guild is going to be different based upon it's goals; however, I feel that there are a lot of choices that guild leaders face that many of the rank and file know nothing about. Is it a good thing that members do not know everything? Unfortunately I do believe it is. There is a fine line between being deceitful and holding information back until the appropriate time, and that is exactly the kind of stuff we will try to examine here.

One of the reasons I have decided to start this series is because of a rather lengthy conversation I had with one member late one night. There were some comments that were made that I feel were completely out of line; however, I cannot take it personally because the comments were made in ignorance. It did however make me understand that those who are unaware of the facts will often let emotions drive their thoughts and actions. Without going into a lot of detail, had this individual come to me and explained what they were thinking and how they felt about some situations, then I may have been able to give them some reasoning behind the actions and what the leadership of the guild was working on. Instead this individual took it upon theirself to take action which did not result in anything remotely positive. These are the types of situations that we will be looking at and really "deep diving" on both sides.

While there are other reasons for doing this series I also want to address one of the biggest concerns that some may have and that is in using this as a tool to humiliate, embarass, belittle, or anything else. That is not the case of this at all. So let me put your fears aside and present to you the format for discussing all issues. We will first look at the issue as it is presented, then we will look at all sides of the debate/discussion. After a thorough review of that information we will look at what decision was made and the reasoning behind the decision; however, keep in mind that this will be from the view of the guild leader. So relax and do not worry, as with any post that could have implications to current events in MAS, no names will be listed and we will refrain from any remarks that are negative. However, if there is a word that could be viewed as negative, we will link the definition of the word to show that it is simply being used in its context and not as a way to be insulting.

In the end, I hope everyone who reads these posts will come to see that sometimes it may just be better to be the guy who just gets to log on and go about their business because once you move into a leadership position, the game is never the same again.

Later!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Paladin's Thoughts On All Things Holy: Introduction

Alright so as I stated in previous blogs, every day here at Holy Shock will be dedicated to one specific topic in an on-going series style approach. For Tuesdays we will focus on the life of a Holy Paladin. One thing we will be open for is answering questions from potential Holy Paladins. Now, do not look for us to be doing number crunching, we leave that up to a few others who really love that sort of thing. How I like to approach things is from experiences I have had in game.

I have seen a lot of folks who run blogs who will say that this is the specific way to play this class and these talents are absolutely neccessary. In fact I would be wrong for saying anything like that as I have learned there is no one specific way to play a class. Are there some ways that are better than others? Absolutely, but that does not mean they are the only way to play a class effectively. Take for instance Ruhtra and my wife's Paladin. We are both Holy and when geared at the same level, can run the same content. However, I chose to build into retribution and grab up all the crit % that is there for free. I tried to convince my wife that this was the "best" way to play. She has ran everything in the game when given the opportunity and has had no issues, all the while not using what I thought to be the "best" build.

So to that point, those are the things we are really looking for here at Holy Shock. I love the classic builds and the traditional ways to play. But at the end of the day, the one thing that is great about the hybrid classes specificially, is that there are numerous ways to play them. Does it make one better than the other? Who knows? I say if you are running content and providing a solid performance and keeping the group up and moving, then that is what matters.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Raid Project: Introduction

Alright so here on Holy Shock every day is going to be one of seven different continuing series. For Tuesdays we are going to focus on how to create a raiding guild by utilizing the people who are currently in what can be described as a casual PVP oriented guild. Every Tuesday we will review what steps have been taken and what the results of the previous weeks raid were. It will be an all access forum to see the feeling of accomplishment and the agony of defeat. We will, however, not list any individuals names or make references such as "moron", "stupid", or "nub" as this is a whole new way of life for a lot of folks in MAS.

What made me decide to make this a public project? There are really a lot of reasons for it. I think that probably the number one is that I believe there are other guilds out there similar to MAS who are ready to raid, but perhaps do not know what to do or how to approach it, and by us making this a public project, it will provide a resource of sorts to see what worked or didn't work. Another reason is that there are so many folks out there with great knowledge of raiding and a lot of times those individuals will drop a comment that really helps to shed some light on perhaps something that may not have been caught by someone else. A final reason is that I think it will be just an interesting journal for the history of MAS.

So with all that great stuff put out there, what in the world do I have to go over for today? Well, actually not a whole lot. I logged on Monday and throughout the day worked on rounding up the troops and putting it out there that come rain or shine, MAS was hitting Naxx every Tuesday. One of the biggest problems we have always had with MAS and raiding is a lack of commitment. Now we have tried several different methods in the past to get people involved through the utilization of the in-game calendar, the guild website, the guild forums, and even in-game mail. All of these had moderate success, but ultimately ended in failure. Another thing was that we had other members who would try to organize the raid with little success. Now I do not know if it was them or the members of MAS, but this time I am also taking on the mantle of raid leader for the time being. I will have this soley rest on me for the organization of the raid itself.

So how do things look for the guild at a glance? At this point in time we are set with healers and have a few tanking options. We have an overabundance of solid DPS as well. The hardest part that I will face is going to be in the selection of the raid itself. I have already had members of the guild refer to an "elite" few who I trust and to be honest I fully expect that attitude to come to head at some point during the initial phases of the raid project. However, in all fairness, the first picks will come from those who sign up for the raids. If you take the time to let me know you want to run, then you definitely will deserve a shot at it. The only time this may come in to questioning would be in regards to healers and tanks. We must maintain solid healing and have tanks who have situational awareness, as well as the ability to handle the different mobs and tactics required for the raid itself. Also of note is that, it is listed here in black and white (well really yellow and black) so if there is a question, I can always refer them to the project so they can see where this was discussed in detail. (See another use for publishing this project!)

Overall I am looking forward to teaching the members of MAS how to raid and how to become successful in Naxx. Our first target is going to be the Spider Wing. I have a couple experienced tanks that I can call on if need be and hopefully our new tanks will be able to learn from the "old pros". I truly hope people just go in and realize that it is a first time thing for the guild (and even for some of them) and if we are successful at downing just one boss, then that is a start in progression.

See everyone tomorrow!

Monday, June 22, 2009

My Mind Went Blank

Hahaha! Yeah, not kidding. When I went to come up with a snappy name for this post, my mind went blank. Anyway, this is pretty much a wrap up post for what I managed to do/not do over the weekend. With is being Father's Day (and as a father), I pretty much let everyone know I just wanted a relaxing weekend. I got my wish! Ofcourse I did not answer my phone, take any text messages, read any emails, post any blogs, or check voice mails. That to me was heaven. A whole weekend where all I had to do was relax because the rest of the year I am the man!


Okay, enough of that, let's hit the highlights of what I actually did last week. I was pretty much off work on Thursday and Friday, so I had a long stretch of relaxing WoW time. The group I have been raiding with hit Ulduar running. We downed three bosses the first night, which I made mention of in a previous post, and then we were able to down another couple on Saturday night. It is absolutely some of the most fun I have had the opportunity to have in WoW, but there is a small part of me that feels guilty because it is not MAS that I am experiencing this with. Do not get me wrong, I love the folks I run with, but it is sad that we have hit some roadblocks in MAS (more on that later). Ulduar is the first time I have really felt the pressure while healing. I mean sure you get some anxiety/nerves about running new content, but this place is really testing my own abilities.

On to some blog related information. I have decided that I am going to switch the blog over to more of a structured format. With the time conflicts that I have had lately, I am going to start doing individual series on each day of the week. I will run with this format for a while and see how I like it. Hopefully this will cut away from some of the rant blogs and also provide a little more depth on the days where I am just in limbo for blogging. So I hope everyone continues to read and enjoy the blog!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Continuation Of Sorts!

Alright, so let me just share with you the fun that I had last night! I made my first attempt into Ulduar and had some moderate success! We were able to one shot Flame Leviathan and Razorscale. We took down XT-002 as well. We ran into some bad luck against Ignis due to connection issues with our top two DPS and some random craziness. I was able to acquire Breastplate of the Afterlife for myself. I also received Armbands of the Construct, which was a minor upgrade to what I currently had, so being the wonderful husband that I am, I gave them to my wife. I felt a little bad at first because the raid group just handed over the bracers to me and I did not have enough time to examine them. However, once i looked them over, we were only talking a minimal upgrade to spell power (I believe it was +3, which I can easily make up by switching gems on my current bracers) and there was less intellect. So with those two factors, I asked my wife to get her Paladin and meet me and we inspected what the effects would be for her and it was a huge jump on everything, so I offered them to her.




So that was the highlight of my night, now for the other side of the night. Now we all know that yesterday I went on a bit of a rant about people not working for what they get in the game and even expecting to be carried through content. So as I stated at the beginning of this post, tonight I ran Ulduar for the very first time and had a great time. I have put my time in and geared up and prepared as best I can for this progression; however, when I logged on later on I noticed three of my fellow guild members were running Ulduar as well. I know that I should be happy that they are getting into runs for this content, but I just cannot allow myself to feel happy, proud, or anything else positive about seeing them in the runs.

So let's look at the reason why. My biggest issue is that two of these three have not even been able to clear Vault 10 or OS 10, much less Naxx. However, for some reason there they are being carried through the end game content. It absolutely made me so aggrevated to think that other players are willing to carry people through content. I suppose maybe you could say it is jealousy, but I would disagree. I feel that I (as well as many of you who read this blog) have put our time in. We have done the progression. We have worked to learn our class abilities and understand how they interact with a large scale raid and thus have earned the right to move onto the next level. I took great pride in being ready to run Ulduar, yet I feel that it is not nearly as great an accomplishment now that a couple of scrubs are being carried through the content. I know, it is not polite to call individuals names and I apologize. However, when individuals do not understand the hit cap or have even been able to clear the heroic content it angers me that they feel they are ready to run end game content.

So this got me thinking way back to what WoW use to be like. Take for instance the quest chain that allows you to save a Green Dragon's soul. This was a complicated task that required not just your own skills, but the skills of 39 other people. What do you think the current group of players would do if they were required to have to actually work to achieve something? Probably quit playing the game, begin the largest session of bitching known to WoWkind, or actually put their nose to the grindstone and work for an accomplishment? Unfortunately I think the third option would be the path least travelled. Honestly, look over what that quest chain requires from someone. It is crazy, over-the-top and simply amazing! Blizzard wandered some from the lore aspect of the game in BC, but they retained the idea of having players actually be somewhat prepared for what they were running. Remember back to the day where people had to actually complete an attunement chain in order to run raid content? If you wanted to run Kara then you would have to run heroics. If you wanted to run heroics, then you would need to run the regular instances and obtain a certain level of reputation. I honestly feel this was a fair system because it made players learn to play the game on the journey to raiding.

However, times have changed. Blizzard has changed WoW from being "hardcore", to being easy for all to play. I am not against this entirely, but I am against the attitude that is becoming more common everyday. The attitude that says I do not want to work for anything, but expect everyone who have worked for where they are to carry me to thier level. The attitude that says if one player can achieve this, then the majority of all players should be able to achieve this. Not too long ago there was a bit of an issue with MAS because a guild member was mad that one of the officers did not drop what they were doing and immediately go to Kara to use their key to let them and their friend in. Now mind you that this individual earlier in the day had asked myself and another officer to drop what we were doing and let them in. The officer who was on at the same time as me, was nice enough to swing by and let them in. I was absolutely aggrevated at this individual, who at the time was an officer, because they actually lost their temper because someone could not let them back in a second time. I am sorry, but if you are too lazy to run a simple quest chain to get your key, then you have no reason to ever get an attitude with another member who did spend the time and now has the privilage of running Kara when they choose to. Needless to say that as time progressed on, we demoted this individual down in a respectable way so as to not create drama or insult anyone.

I guess at the end of this, I am still amazed at the attitude of individuals who play this game. To me running raid content is something to be proud of because of spending the time to get the right gear mix, learning the proper rotation, learning the little tricks of your class, and gaining the experience that will guarantee your success. To me if I have not been able to clear the heroic content and succeed in clearing the entry level raid content, then I would not be able to take pride in saying that I was running Ulduar. I am assuming I am not alone, but at times it does feel that way.

Later!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Nothing But Trouble!

So let's see, what did I accomplish today? I removed all of my alts from MAS and moved them to either FBoS or FBoO. I basically did this because quite frankly I just cannot be left alone when trying to work on an alt. The only folks who have access to me when on my alts are a few officers in MAS and my friends. So I log back on later on in the day to mess with my alts and run some content with my wife and I get a whisper from Fish. He wanted to know if I would run him through ZF. I told my wife to grab an alt and get some cheap experience.

When I did that, I did not realize that her alts did not have the flight path there so I logged onto my lock (Emprius) and had my wife log onto an alt who had the flight path on her second account. The plan was simple, lock summon her toon there. This went real well up until the 80 Druid got Fish while waiting on us. Now I will say that my wife's Hunter and Emprius almost took the Druid down. Now it has been quite some time since I played Emp and all of my configurations seem strange so I was not firing on all cylendars. We reserrected and I decided to use Emp for the run, to reacquaint myself with him.

The run went smooth for the most part. We had some agro issues but that was more due to the lack of me giving clear instructions like "don't run in here with me" and all that good stuff. All and all it went well and Fish got one piece of gear for his Druid and my wife almost got a level on her lock, Matronamorta. I killed everything in site, but was a few thousand experience short. When we left I started killing all the mobs on the way back to town hoping to get her level; however, we were rudely interrupted by a Death Knight the same level as Emp (73) and a Paladin who was 48 (seven levels above my wife's lock). I saw them out the corner of my eye and braced for impact.

The good news for us was that before I left ZF I set up Emp for PVP as there were a ton of Alliance running around the zone when we came in. Now I have read a lot of locks out there who have been complaining about being nerfed and unable to do this, that, and the other; so I was not expecting to beat another player of equal level, much less a Death Knight (even though many of the players who run DKs have not really learned how to play the class). So when he targeted my wife's lock, I sent in my Felhunter and dotted him up. My wife hit her Felhunter on the Paladin traveling with him and proceeded to dot him up as well. As soon as the DK realized that I got the jump he tried to Death Grip me in. I hit my Howel of Terror on him and got some distance, refreshed my dots and drained some life off of him. He naturally used his abilities which were doing a good job of keeping him close to me, by the way Strangulate is not fun. I did find it funny that we both popped our Death Coils at the same time. With the distance and a timely proc I was able to get an instant Shadow Bolt, followed by a second Shadow Bolt followed by Fear. One last refresh of my dots and a Shadow Bolt that he charged back into dropped him. His Paladin friend was not able to drop my wife and we swept the trash away.


So while I dispise running ZF. there seems to have been some justice in it. My wife has always teased about being trained by Emprius the "Pissiest Lock" in the game, so I guess this lesson number one, if it is red it is dead. We do not run we stand and fight and let the dice fall how they may. This time, the Alliance got to make that corpse run. I also got to see that some of the complaining by folks about locks are not founded in truth. With a little bit of skill, some knowledge on what spells will do what, and a little luck the Warlock class is still a fun class and worth playing. On a side note it has made it that much more difficult to decide who to level now between Popebutch, Lrem, Emprius, and Walani. Well, you all will know as soon as I figure it out.

Have a good one!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

What A Week It Has Been!

Wow, it feels like forever since I have been able to get on and even think much about blogging. At least the tough part of what I had been working on is just about complete which should leave me home more often and that means more time to focus back on the blogs and the sites. So, let's just go over some of the highlights and some other things that happens to be on my mind.

Let's hit the highlight of my week. I logged on one night (and honestly I was so tired I do not even remember what night I had logged in) and I got whispered asking me if I wanted to join up on a Naxx 25 run. Now the person who whispered me is one of the folks I have been running Naxx 10 with and thought why not. The only thing he said is the night before they could only down two bosses, so run at your own risk. I thought to myself, why not go. If they have that much of an issue, then I can just log and go to bed and still feel good having at least made an attempt. Well a few hours later and a little bit of gear (Chains of Adoration, Epaulets of the Grieving Servant, Chestguard of Bitter Charms, Abetment Bracers, Bone-Inlaid Legguards, and Valorous Redemption Shoulderplates). Not too bad for being in such a failed group.


It seems like everytime I turn around, Ruhtra is changing gear. While we are on the subject of change I suppose I should mention that I recently switched out of my duel holy talent builds. I kept my PVE build and switched from my PVP build to a retribution build. I had been debating for a while and just was unable to make up my mind. What finally made me decide to change? There were a lot of reasons actually, the biggest being wanting to get some room for other healers in on runs. My wife's Paladin has acquired the proper range of stats where she needs to start being rotated into runs in order to work on her timing and learning some of the different aspects of healing in Wrath.
Speaking of different aspects and my wife, she through a post up where she mentioned that we had differing opinions on some of the news for the next major content, Patch 3.2. Go check out her thoughts on the subject, but the short version is that I am aggrevated with the lowering of the mount requirements yet one more time. It is not that I want new players to suffer, but I have seen a lot of players who are lacking a great understanding of the game because they raced to hit the level cap and skipped as much content as possible. The counter argument to this is that those players who have played the game and have a good understanding of how the mechanics work, what their class and talent builds are capable of, and all the rest of the stuff you learn on your journey. I completely see the point to their argument and I agree with the delimna of not wanting to spend a lot of time on a low level toon in regards to travel time and things of that nature, but giving immediate access to new players will only increase the amount of players who do not truly understand their classes. So what would I do to assist the established players in progressing more quickly through the lower levels? Well, Blizzard already established a great idea with heirloom items, but why not extend this farther? How about an heirloom mount? I would want to see the price set rather high, but set using the Emblems of Heroism so that even those newer players who reach level 80 will be able to acquire one. I would set it at something like perhaps 300 Emblems of Heroism, similar in concept to that of the Black War Mammoth. It would be extremely nice to see one of each race specific mounts available to both Horde and Alliance. A lot of the achievement hounds and collectors would go nuts over this and it would balance out the complaints from those of us who have put our time in and bought our original mounts at level 40.
Thinking along the lines of newer players, I have a question that is aggrevating myself, as well as a few other folks I have spoken to. What is the question? Why is that fresh level 80 characters feel that they should immediately be able to run any heroic content? Why do they feel that they should be carried through that very content in an effort to gear them to run raid content? I would really love to know the thinking behind this mentality. It absolutely makes me so angry when I log on to work on one of my other characters (you know having seven level 60+ characters takes some time) and I get a whisper or request in guild chat to drop what I am doing and go run people through content they are not prepared for. At first I use to do it to check my own skills and because it was fun to see the reaction of these folks if they got a new piece of gear, but something has recently dawned on me. What has dawned on me? They never say thank you (except Fish, he has thanked us in his blog openly and publicly) and more often than not, if the gear does not drop or they cannot complete an instance (you know because they are undergeared and have no clue about specific class caps that they should be at) they get an attitude that is absolutely pathetic. I have always tried my hardest to help all of the folks in the guild be able to reach the content that they personally want to, but to not be receiving any sort of thanks is completely unacceptable behavior.
Along the lines of the last thought, another reason I am going to limit my assisting in heroics to those who are geared properly is that we are not helping these individuals in the least bit. I actually think we are hurting them. When I want a piece of gear or to run an instance, I will PuG it or wait until some folks are on who need to run the same instance. I ran a couple of pretty horrible PuGs to gain experience in Naxx content even, yet it seems that people just want everything handed to them. While Blizz may feel strongly about making the game so easy a brand new player can raid, I will no longer be a part of this. I do not want to hit a fight where someone is going to be required to kite a boss and have them not understand anything that should be done. I will no longer attempt to explain to mages what their hit caps are. I will no longer throw my heals behind a group that has fail written all over it. I in no way consider myself an elitest or even hardcore, but I have put the time into my characters to gain the skill and gear to play them effectively and efficiently, and I do not feel that it is asking too much for people to do a little research to learn about their class. I also do not feel that it is wrong to not assist players in getting gear that they have no right to claim. Do the progression for your gear and for your pride. Would you really feel good as a brand new level 80 being carried through H UP and receiving the Red Sword of Courage when you could not even begin to hope to have made it past the basic trash mobs? If you answered yes and are a part of MAS, you may want to consider leaving the guild as you have completely missed what we are trying to do.
Well, hope you are not in a coma after reading this rather long blog!

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Good Read For You All

A couple days ago, I was reading through some of the blogs I visit and came across this post from And Two Rogues. It was such a good post, I wanted to put it up on here so other folks can go and check it out! Now this is a responce to a Blog Azeroth post which you can read here.

It got me thinking a little bit about other healers and who I would prefer. Now I do have some DPS classes, but they are lacking attention right now because of the need of healers within MAS. However, because of the content that I am running Ruhtra through, the question is really a good question even to the healing community. I know none of us like to admit that we need help healing, but let's face the truth and admit we cannot heal everything alone and some fights are just easier for some classes verses others. So here is my take on who I prefer to be healing me and healing with me!

As a holy Paladin I have some dehibilitating limits, such as I cannot heal you if I cannot see you. Another weakness is the lack of any large multiple heal (AoE) or any timed heal (HoT). So, I guess the first thing that, as healers, we need to do is know what are weaknesses are. By first learning where our own limits are, we then can find out who is best suited to join us. So let's take a look at the only situations where you may have a need for additional healers.

Raid Healing

I am not going to come in here and down the Paladin class as being gimped in a raid environment. I am actually quite happy with how well Ruhtra has performed in raids and have several screenshots of him topping the healing charts; however, I could produce just as many screenshots of him not topping the healing charts. The trick in a raid environment is to find the class that best compliments me in my weaknesses (which we disucced above). To me, I feel so much better when I have a Druid tree with me. I have yet to outheal a tree, but I do not really care about those stats. I care about getting the raid through the event as quickly and as efficiently as I can. The Druid offers a great HoT and brings some wonderful buffs as well. Those two items alone, to me, is what makes them so valuable as a raid healing partner.

Five Man Arena Team

I love going into the arena! Although I do not know why. Anyway, on the five man arena team, we have always had two healers. Typically it is myself and as of late, it is my wife who is also a Paladin. The set-up has worked extremely well and I could see where, if geared with top level PVP gear, it could give opposing teams a lot of issues. Don't worry though, we are not top geared and do it more for fun. Anyway, if I had to trade out as a Paladin, I think the best healing class to step in would be a Druid again. They are just off the chart with their utility and HoTs!

Okay so we looked at the two types where there would be a need for additional healers, how about looking at how the Paladin stacks up against the other healing classes (Druids, Priests, and Shaman)? That is a tough thing to do because I am biased, but I do know a little something about the other classes as well, so I am game to take a shot and breakdown where I stand when compared situationally against the others.

Individual Target

I honestly believe that for single target healing, the Paladin is going to top the list. We are spam healing machines. It does not matter if you are spamming FoL or HL (really just depends on how you built your Paladin), we were designed to stand there and rain down the light! Another aspect that lends us credibility as being tops in single target healing is SS. Now again, this is all being taken based off of a holy/ret crit build, but I think it is safe to say that most of the Paladin community has adopted some form of this build.

Multi-Target Healing

To be fair in this one, Paladins struggle here. We do have BoL, which when used effectively can keep two other players up and running, but when we hit more than two other targets to heal, we cannot afford for any type of mistake. So in the multi-target healing side (aka Raid Heals) I have to give it to a holy Priest. They have a couple AoE heals and a HoT. They are just much better equipped to handle an entire group, but again we must remember that no one healer can keep an entire raid up, so there is room for a Paladin in there. However, in light of how we are reviewng healers for this section, Paladins come in dead last. Each of the other classes have at least one pure multi-target heal.

5 Man Healing

When looking at healing groups that are five people or less, any of the classes are capable here. I would not rate one any better than the next. I think for determing what type of healer you want, you would have to look at what content you are runnning. For instance, if you are going into HoL, then taking a class with a HoT is going to be a great idea because of the final boss and how much running you will need to do. So on the five man front it is going to be situational. I have personally healed all of the five man content (with the exception of Occ, but I have no desire to run that) and I am sure that all healing classes are capable of running all of the five man content is they so choose.

PVP

I have never made it a secret that I prefer PVP over PVE. So what are my thoughts on PVP healers? I think honestly, we need to look at the three categories for PVP healing: Battleground, Arena, and World.
  1. Battleground - to me BG healing is similar to raid healing, so you definitely need more than one healer. The hard part is that the typical player will not be able to choose who is in the BG, so it is a grab bag of healers. However, the whole topic is realling coming from what other healers do I love to see in a BG beside myself? To be honest, I love Priest and other Paladins. My reasoning here is that Paladins can take a beating and yet not go down easily. While Priest cannot take the beating straight up, they have some great utlity abilities which keep them up and with such a wide array of heals, they provide solid healing for a BG.
  2. Arena - Well, we already touched on this one up top, but just to confirm what I stated earlier; Druids are kick ass healers for arena. I hate seeing a Druid across the way from me (when I get to see them), but love those rare occassions when they are on my side.
  3. World - Is there world PVP still? Just kidding, I will take whatever I can get. It is hard to organize a group for the old school style of PVP, so we cannot be picky. However, I love a good mix of healers here because we all have different options and because there is no limit to the size of the group having one of each healing class is not a horrible thing. Did you like the political answer there?
At the end of this rather long post (and I told myself I would keep this short), I hope that I did not come across with the "My class is so much better than yours!" mentality. I truly believe that each healing class is capable of healing all the content in the game. I do, however, feel that there are certain segments of the game where other healers can and will outshine my own abilities as a Paladin. The thing that I always remind myself is that it does not matter if I am at the top of the healing chart, what matters is that the group made it out alive and completed their goal. Regardless if you play a Druid, Paladin, Priest, or Shaman, our main goal when healing, is to simply heal.
Well, that is all I have for you today, enjoy the day!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Long, Long, Long Day

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing seems to have gone right? I have been on about a four year stretch of those days. I do not think I would know what to do if a day actually went as planned. The quick run down is that we (my wife and I) are paying for a professional service, in other words we are paying someone to do something for us. Well, we had a meeting with this particular person who proceeded to insult us on so many levels I actually sat there losing track of what was being said as in my mind I jumped up on the conference table ran over and ripped the head off of this individual in a Mortal Kombat type fatality. Do not worry, this is not my last blog because I will be going away to jail. I just had a great mental image. I left the meeting and had some lunch then decided to do a little research on how much this individual was actualy doing. I was horrified and angered even more. I actually left the house in a made rage. If I was a Warrior in real life my berzerker stance icon would have been up constantly.

Anyway, not all was lost, I ended up going and getting some work done that will only benefit me in the long wrong. However, due to this annoying circumstance I was not able to do anything with WoW today. I had been looking forward to a Naxx 25 run, but either I missed it or it was canceled. I am not really too sure as no one was online who runs by the time I actually logged on. So here I sit, writing my blog post which has nothing to do with WoW or anything else, just a quick vent/rant!

I will see everyone tomorrow hopefully!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Back In The Saddle

Well, I honestly have not been doing a whole lot today. A lot of stuff kept me away from the computer today, which of course does not give me much time to read up on any of the blogs or get a whole lot done in WoW. About the only thing I did today was run Ru through a couple AVs in order to get my Hateful Gladiator's Ornamented Spaulders, which by the way has me feeling like the Ru of old.

I also was able to get on with Pope and get him half way through level 65. I am really excited to start focusing on him more now that Ru is pretty well geared and only needs a little attention throughout the week. And of course with Pope leveling that means Lov will be heading towards 80 as well. So expect more diversity in discussions regarding healing. Eventually I plan on leveling Walani to 80 as well. If you are keeping score at home, that would be 3 level 80 healers. What can I say, I am a damn good healer!

Later!

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Good Old Questions

Please read the following comment that I found on a post over at WoW Ladies: Girl Gamers of World of Warcraft:

  • Priest on pally = win
    Druid/shammy on pally = just ducky
    pally on pally = sucktastic

    This is in terms of SA for the tank.

    Shammies can make good single target healers, as they are a healy hybrid like holy priests. Chain heal and their quick cast times make them strong raid healers, but Earth Shield and its bonus to lesser healing wave make them good for a tank heal as well. Water mastery, LHW, and Earth Shield are good major glyphs. Healing Way is a rubbish point expenditure because it is rare that a shaman will spam Healing Wave, and the talent does not benefit LHW, which is teh shaman's primary heal.

    Pallies, more or less, are tank healers. Period. Their primary heal is Holy Light, which is a really shitty way to raid heal. Glyph of Holy Light is definitely a must have. Imp Conc Aura has very limited applications in PvE, but where it's useful, it's a godsend.

    If you have more specific questions, I can try to answer them, but as far as an overview, that's what I've got for you.
When I read this comment, I was absolutely amazed at how little this commenter really understands what the question of the original poster was, much less the knowledge about other healing classes. Now, I will not claim to be a master healer, but having healed BC end game content with both a Paladin and Shaman, I do have a good understanding of what their heals are like. Since BC, I have leveled my Paladin to 80 and healed all of the 10 mans (only made it to Phase 3 of Maly) except Ulduar. I have recently been leveling a Priest and have him at level 65. Of all the healing classes, only the Druid has eluded me thus far and I have one waiting to level for that too. So with my credentials given, let's first look at what the original post was about.

We have basically a Druid healer who has been tasked with assigning healers during raids. The Druid healer did not want to act like they know everything, so they bring it to the community to seek useful advice about what classes are capable of healing, useful spells, must have talents, ect. So the second commenter is the one who responded with the pile of $#!^! Why does it aggrevate me so much? I know what Paladins are capable. Hell, I even know what the other healing classes are capable of. I think the reason why it annoys me is that I have to work my ass off in raids to put out solid heals and have played since early on as a Holy Paladin. I take pride in my class and cannot stand when someone who has no knowledge spews forth such crap.

Okay, I have calmed down. Now let's take a closer look at what answer we could have provided to the original poster. When looking at the four healing classes, we have basically five types of healers (sorry but I know nothing about Disc Priests). When you think of a Paladin, you automatically think of a single target healer and that is a fair assessment; however, to say that we cannot raid heal is really not appropriate. It will depend on the skill of the Paladin and the make up of the group. Ninety percent of the time, we are best suited for being assigned to a tank, but to say that we have only one heal is absolutely absurd. We have three very useful heals. The first is Flash of Light (FoL), which is a standby quick cast heal which provides solid heals and can be quickly spammed to either a tank or to members of the raid. The second heal is Holy Light (HL), which is a large heal that is best suited for single target healing and should be used by a Paladin with a good amount of haste rating (of course as you run the raids this should not be an issue). The third heal that we have is Holy Shock (HS), which is our mobile heal. We do not have an area of effect (AoE) or heal over time (HoT) to use so we have to be constantly aware of line of site (LoS) issues and ranges of our assignments. In addition to our heals we have Beacon of Light (BoL) and Sacred Shield (SS). A skilled Paladin will also utilize the ability to create instant crit FoL, HL, and HS. Another skill that Paladins should learn to use is the combination of Hand of Sacrifice (HoS) followed by Divine Shield (DS). If you are not familiar with that little combination, it is a trick from older Paladin healing days and a must have for those in PVP. The final tool that we have is the use of Judgement of Light (JoL), but that is often better served to be used by a ret Paladin (but that would be a conversation for another post).

So right there we would have provided a solid overvue of our healing abilities to the original poster and not put down any classes in our answer. Now to answer what glyphs and talents are needed is somewhat trickier as these can be augmented by other members of the raid. I personally would prefer a Paladin who went into the ret tree and picked up the free crit rating, as that would have freed them some to look for haste and MP5 gear. (And please do not say that MP5 is not important as mana regeneration is always important and I will never change my stance on that.) When looking at glyphs the one glyph that is important is the Holy Light glyph. So there you go, if you ever see a poster with a question about what we can do or what to look for, present a clear cut answer about YOUR class abilities and leave the putting down of other classes out of it. I truly believe that most classes are viable and that the skill of the player will make up for any lack of ability and perhaps, just maybe, there is still some skill involved in this game.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Achievement Alert!!

Alright, so I have stated in the past that I am not a huge lover of achievements. I respect the people who go out after them, but for me it is not one of those must have kinds of things. However, I do still find them funny and have started to pick more of them up now that there is fewer things I feel that I need to do. Now I was going to get on here and write up a post about my most recent achievements, which I still may do, but just not right now. I chose the title of this post because I have found one spot where every level character (on the Horde side, sorry Alliance) can earn the Going Down achievement!

I do not even know if anyone has posted on where to go to get this one, but I searched high and low for my characters like my Hunters and Warriors who do not have any fancy skills to keep them alive, and let me tell you that I did kill them a few times looking for that right spot, but it was worth it because in the end I found the golden spot for leaping for that achievement! Alright so without further waiting.........

When you take the zep from Orgrimmaar to Under City, the last tree before the tower is your marker. If you jump off directly as the zep passes over (step right off the side) and your aim is true and your connection is not laggy, then you too can earn this cheap achievement that has caused many a dead toon for me.

Hahaha! I am like a crazed evil genius scientist here. I am sure others have found great places and I hope people share stuff like this and help save a toons needless death!

Later!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My Path

So over the past few days I have been thinking back about how I made it to where I am now, in WoW of course. A lot of my friends and guildmates laugh at me because I tend to give them the impression I just hit the level cap by chance more than by design. This is true on some levels. I have often joked with them that I skipped most everything and chose to kill thousands of yetis and ogres in order to level. In truth, this is not accurate. So I now present the path of leveling that Ruhtra took on his way to 80. Kick back and enjoy it, I know I have laughed at it.

I started out in the Blood Elf starting zone like all of us little nooblet elves. I ran the crazy beginning area quests, all the while thinking how big and bad I was to kill the mana worms! Come on, there was something empowering by killing them things, you know it. I ran over and did all the grand quests there in Eversong Woods. Made my way into the Ghostlands and died often. I have always had a bad habbit of not asking for help and working on leveling on my own (at least until my wife started playing). Killing Knuckle and Lu was a pain in my shiny plated ass, but I found a group and brought them down. At this point, I started travelling the world. I had good intentions to stay in Silverpine Forest, which was my hearth point; however, I was constantly whispered for Wailing Cavern runs so I had to make the trek to the Barrens. I am still suffering from that place. By the way, I hate Waling Caverns. At any rate, for instances I would ask my friends for help, so was fortunate there that I did not always need to pug a group.

The best memory I have from those early levels was trying to get my Paladin quest chain done. I remember a friend said they would help me with the last part where you have to travel into Ashenvale (I am horrible with names so bare with me). Well my friend did not mention the Night Elf town in the road, so I ran straight into it.......yeah didn't go so well. At any rate got the quest done and the polearm was great for a few levels. I eventually finished up Silverpine Forest and rode straight into Hellsbrad.....er Hillsbrad. I hated that zone soooooooo much! I was killed every five minutes. The Allis there used my bones as the frames for their tents. I did not care though, I gritted my teeth, perhaps cursed a little and fought through it. When I finished my tour of duty there I headed straight for Arathi, which was pretty mild compared to good old Hillsbrad. Arathi was over and done with before I could blink. Then I went to the Badlands and got bored. So I thought that Stranglethorn Vale looked like a cool zone. I mean it had a lot of quests for people who preferred solo play. You know the kind of quests that say go kill 40 of this and retrieve 400 of that. Yeah, great quests, miserable ganking, and I actually thought nothing could be worse than Hillsbrad.......I was wrong.

I once more gritted me teeth, cursed some more, perhaps broke a mouse or two, but did manage to fight my way through the zone and do the majority of the quests. Then I realized that the Hinterlands had some useful items in it for me and immediately hopped the first flight to go there. It was a great zone back in the day, so many elites that you couldn't help but die! Luckily by then a friend of mine was leveling his Hunter so I had someone to die with. We got a couple other friends to help us with the old Troll town there and completed the quests. From there it was off to the Plaguelands. It seemed that I always chose the wrong places to go. It was great, I was killed by so many 70 Allis that I almost felt a part of the sole of the shoes. A few instances and quests and I hit outland. I will never forget the feeling of walking through the portal and thinking oh my &^&^%ing **&*^^ what the &^$$# have I just walked into?

Hellfire was sooooooo much fun because you would be minding your own business, running for your life from a Fel Reaver when a 70 would drop from their mount, kill you before they landed and then repeat this process till something distracted them. One thing I will say is that I never went down without a fight, when I could fight. I also never would run and leave my corpse lying. I always log off in an inn. I will not give someone the satisfaction of knowing that they ruined my fun. I completed the majority of the group quests in Hellfire and ran Ramps and BF a lot. I then hit up Zangamarsh. I hated that zone with a passion. I just didn't like it because it was bland. I know picky huh? I do not think I even ran the instances there while I was in the zone.

I hit Nagrand and felt like I was at home. Go kill 30 of this, that, and those please. Great now go do it again, but over there! Hey why not go try to kill the elite? I really do love those quests, that is not sarcasm. There was some random killing that occurred, but typically only when trying to complete a quest against the elites. It must have been funny to the Allis to watch me die in so many ways. I honestly wish I had taken pictures from back in the day, but I had one goal....hit 70!

After the decimation of Nagrand I marched my shiny plate wearing ass to Blade's Edge mountain. I really hated the quests there. Go kill 30 of this was starting to get as old as flying Alli death bombs. Oh well, I did a lot more instances at this point and hit 70 there. Pretty crazy that I did not do a whole lot of quest chains there at all, but reverted to doing more instances. I then messed around running heroics and some raids for quite some time. Leveled a couple other characters with my wife's Paladin and all around just did nothing.

This was soon to change as Wrath was growing closer. I felt an urge to do quests and what not, but resisted as I had a more sinister plan. I instead grabbed a friend and formed an arena team. We did quite well and loaded up on gear. The gear then got me into better raids, which allowed me to acquire more PVE gear. Around this time, the big nerf hit and news of Wrath was coming right and left. This made raiding easier as more folks were gearing up for racing through the content. I on the other hand was gearing up for a whole different reason. Wrath hit and everyone headed out to Northrend.

While everyone else headed for Wrath and people began to complain about waiting in line for a rare spawn to kill for a quest, I chose to take Ruhtra to Area 51 and complete all the quests of the zone. I also then enacted my plan to level my reputation with the Netherwing and get my drake. Yes it was not the quickest way to level, yet I arrived to 80 around the same time as the rest. The only reasons I headed to Northrend was to assist in instances for the guild. They would summon me, I would heal, collect loot, and hearth back to Dalaran and hit the first portal out of there. Finally when I was not getting enough experience from the Burning Crusade content, I believe at level 77, I did go to Howling F'Jord (again pardon my spelling, if I am off). I completed the quests there and hit 80 over with the quest lines in Venomspite Outpost. Then it was just running regular instances, then heroic, and now raids. When I am short on funds, I simply run out and do a couple of quest chains.

I know this was a strange post for me, but I wanted to share the path that I took in the game with my first character I leveled all the way to the level cap. I know that there has been some negative stuff going on lately in the blogging community, especially the Paladin portion of it, and I just wanted to bring something positive to the community instead. Another reason I did this, is because of leveling Popebutch. It is amazing how different the game is to me each time I level a new character. Part of it is because of the design of the character and part of it is because you learn and grow and so you know a little more each time.

Well, I will see you all later!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Nothing New

So, I had a nice two day break of doing absolutely nothing in WoW. Sure I logged on and played some with alts and even with Ru, but just was not feeling it. I guess not feeling very well can have that effect on people. Hopefully I will get motivated and be able to come back and tell you some grand adventures that I had.