Monday, November 29, 2010

Apologies

I offer my apologies for posting my piece a couple days back about the current state of healing as a Holy Paladin. Since the last patch, some things were tweaked and it has changed the way that a few of our spells will work and thus has made that post completely irrelevant in my opinion. While the changing and tweaking is nothing new, I do feel bad for putting out something that became outdated so quickly. I will try to make sure and watch out for these sorts of things in the future. I may revisit the subject of healing in the near future, but I want to let the expansion hit and then get some leveling in and see how everything seems to be pulling together before I post something else on that particular topic.

I do have some other stuff to discuss today though about being a Holy Paladin! I am sure by now that you have read about Holy Paladins who dream of becoming powerhouse caster DPS. (If you haven't go read the Paladin class forum on the official website and look under anything that has to do with Exorcism, Shockadin, or any play on those words.) To save some time for those who may not be aware of this new movement, Holy Paladins can basically switch some talents around within their tree and do some moderate DPS revolving around Holy Shock and Exorcism. This of course to many is an abomination that should quickly be squashed by Blizzard's development team and their massive nerf bats, or should it?

So how does one turn a healing tree into a DPS tree? A long, long, long, long time ago in a game that hardly even resembles WoW there was a limited use build that was referred to as the Shockadin. Many people throughout the course of WoW have attempted to make this build a viable build, but ultimately with the release of Cataclysm Blizzard seemingly squashed this build and banished it to the pages of history with many other aspects of the game. However, in their recent game build they added back in a few key talents that has allowed a small minority of the Paladin community to once again build a caster DPS spec!

The real issue is not can you build a talent spec that allows moderate DPS, but can you build a talent spec that allows moderate DPS that would be viable? In reviewing many of the posts from the official forums you would have to think not. There has been nothing but open ridicule and flaming of those who have tried to post possible builds and discuss ideas on how to better the DPS output. Regardless of what build they pick, it all revolves around the use of Holy Shock and Exorcism. This is what we are going to examine today!

I feel at this point I should definitely affirm that I in fact do have a Holy DPS build on Ruhtra. I created it quite some time ago and had been waiting to test the build within the random dungeon system where a group of peers could decide if the damage output justified being allowed to remain in a group or if it was too low to justify being permitted to stay within a group and ultimately would result in a vote to kick. The problem was that so many people do not understand the finer points of the game and even fewer are willing to take on permitting such in-game tests to be ran that I needed to bring along two friends to prevent an immediate vote to kick prior to actually running the instance. Last night I received my first chance at such a run when one of my good friends wanted to practice being a Discipline Priest. I had him queue as heals with the reassurance that if the shit hit the fan, I would be there to provide support. Along with him, my wife brought her Hunter in order to work on leveling up some of her newest pets. 

********************* Start Fresh**************************


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving (U.S.A.)

Wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving day here in the US! well, except maybe the Native Americans.....sorry for the whole taking your land thing......awkward......

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Shattered Experience

This is not a tale of QQ, but one of feeling lost in WoW. I have been playing this game for a very long time and yesterday I logged in excited to see what was changed like many others. As I flew around and looked over the changed things like sharper graphics for old zones and completely redesigned old zones I couldn't help but feel lost. All of my talents were reset as they had said. All of my quests were gone from the old world. Hell, I have a 1500 quest achievement but only have around 1200 quests completed now. As I flew around, I felt more disconnected from the game than I ever have before. During this time of excitement that everyone else seems to be having, am I the only person who just doesn't care one way or another?

I honestly feel like just putting down my level capped characters and starting all over again. I do not feel like revisiting old zones and hammering out new quests. I rode through the ZG zone and couldn't help but feel as though the game keeps losing more than it is giving back. Old raids like AQ, Naxx, Ony, and ZG being changed or removed makes sense, but at the same time it feels like they are ripping out my memories of what was and replacing them with an excuse to release less content. That may have come out wrong. I just feel like that in the Burning Crusade we got something new. There was no reusable content pushed upon us. In Wrath, we saw the beginning of reworking some aspects of content (Naxx and Ony). In Cataclysm, we get a whole lot of reusable content. Which is not bad. This is a good thing. It saves us from having to buy World of Warcraft II, but something just feels missing or wrong to me.

I honestly do not know how to really describe what I am feeling other than I played Minecraft most of the day yesterday. I logged into the game a couple hours after servers were up and managed to stay online for maybe an hour or so before logging off and going to bed. I am going to give it another try later today with a fresh character I made last night. What about the rest of you out there? Is anyone else feeling the same as me or am I just the odd man out on this one?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Balance

The word balance has so many different meanings depending on who is using it and in what reference it is being used in. Today, I use the word as a way to describe what the changes to Wintergrasp was supposed to accomplish. I cannot argue that it has in fact managed to make a balance PVP environment, but I have to wonder if the goal was to have Wintergrasp matches that are 2v2, 4v4, and 5v5. At this point, I have not seen a lot of encouraging reports from Wintergrasp. What we are seeing is the raging of angered individuals that they no longer can get into Wintergrasp, the angered raging of those who felt that the environment was never a fair battleground in the first place, and many a troll who is using this as an opportunity to make themselves seem so much more knowledgeable and intelligent than what they truly are. In all of these "discussions" no one is really questioning the long term viability of such a fault ridden system.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's About Time

***** I want to say that this post is now outdated due to recent changes within the game. Feel free to review it and see if there were any ideas presented which you may find useful. Again, the spells have been changed slightly on some of the core abilities and has resulted in this information being outdated. *****

Here lately I have had a lot of questions via e-mail and in-game from people want to know how I am healing or what type of rotation/priority am I currently using. A lot of these individuals are people who have Holy as an off-spec build or maybe have not touched the class in a very long time. I think the main concern most people have is they went from two to three healing spells to having a whole bar full of healing options and they have no clue what to make of all these choices. Even worse than the choices is when they go into a run and attempt to heal it and struggle through because Flash of Light drains their mana or Holy Light doesn't heal the way it use to. It is very confusing and you are not alone. The good news is that we are not too far different from what we have always been in terms of healing. We just have a few extra options is all. Stick with me and let's try to make some sense out of all of this ok?

So let's talk about the healing spells and what is really different and what may not be so different! I was a Flash of Light kind of guy and so I will start with this one first. It is definitely not what it once was that is for sure. It takes a large chunk of our mana in order to cast, but it also provides a large heal back in return. In my opinion at current Wrath end game, this is probably our best large heal spell due to the time it takes to cast, but it is not something we are going to want to be spamming a ton because it will drain you way too quickly. Holy Light has lost a lot of its bite and I cannot argue that, but it is meant to be a filler heal now, much the same as Flash of Light use to be. It is inexpensive in terms of mana and provides a weaker heal when compared to its counterparts of Flash of Light and Divine Light. Divine Light is a spell that is meant to be our king of the mountain heal, but currently just takes too long and cost too much to make it a go to heal. Notice I said currently. At level 85, I fully expect this heal to be the king of the hill heal and so do not ignore it, just do not rely on it at this time. Now we come to our instant heals, Holy Shock and Word of Glory! I love instant heal spells! In the case of Holy Shock, it is now our prime heal. Everything we do is going to be based around it and its cool down. Word of Glory is still up for debate on when to use it and who to use it on. For me I personally relish using it on a non-tank who is about to bite it or a tank who takes one of those crazy hits six times in a row. In my opinion, regardless of who you heal, it is the "oh shit" heal option that I use to reserve Holy Shock for. Now that doesn't mean never cast it, but if you know your fights then you know which bosses will put you in those "oh shit" moments and therefore you can save it for those occasions. Finally, we have Light of Dawn in all of its blinding glory. All you need to know on this one is that it is situational at best, but play around with it and have some fun as well. It packs a decent heal but a long cool down so you just want to make sure and not blow it too soon.

Alright, so now we got through the quick hit version of what these spells are and now let's talk about how I choose to use them. This is important to note right here that I do not use a mathematical spread sheet or a formula that illustrates a perfect situation with a perfect raid group because I run in non-perfect situations with far from perfect raid compositions and occasionally have to bring a PuG in which usually never turns out to be a good player. Consider yourself warned! So to answer all those questions about my priority/rotation for healing here is how I usually go in PVE situations:

1. Holy Shock
2. Holy Light (Wrath end game)/ Divine Light (Cataclysm end game) - It is important to note that you should have Infusion of Light 2/2 for the speed bonus which makes casting both Holy Light and Divine Light directly after Holy Shock a must.
3. Flash of Light - Quick and powerful and due to the speed up of Holy Light a great filler in this slot right now during the remainder of Wrath.
4. Rinse and repeat!

A few things to point out:

1. This is a foundation to build on. Do not consider this to be the Bible of Paladin healing because things will be tweaked and new abilities will provide different options.

2. Light of Dawn is not listed, make sure and use it. It is a great ability for healing while moving. If two or more party/raid members are lined up then hit this ability.

3. Do not be afraid of Flash of Light. Yes it cost a lot of mana and therefore you have to think while casting. In PVP situations, Flash of Light is going to be your bread and butter so if you are an arena or battleground junkie, then you better not remove this spell from your hot bar/keys/mouse!

4. Beacon of Light is not what it once was. It does not allow us to heal multiple tanks at once. We are only capable to heal one and a half tanks now, which even with our avoidance of math here at Holy Shock tells me that one and a half is not two.

5. Word of Glory is my "oh shit" heal. I hold on to it like nothing else. I splash it around to save a high DPS when needed, but attempt to reserve its use to always have it ready to save someone's butt. I would not recommend using it every cool down simply because of its value to saving someone in a rare moment. If memory serves me correct, this spell is not on our global cool down table and therefore literally can save someone when no one else is available.

There is so much more I really want to talk about, but I think this covers the main question I have been getting. Remember that Cataclysm is just a couple weeks away and now is a good time to start developing good habits for healing. I encourage everyone to try out different ways of healing. In my own experience, this simple four heal rotation has proven to work in both dungeons and raids. It is steady, eats up spike damage and does not drain our mana down to nothing. What more could we ask for right?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Never Cluck, If You Can't Strut

So last night I was feeling wide awake and wanted to do something different. Lately, I had spent so much time focused on raiding or running with guild members through randoms that I just needed a little fun. The problem is that for me fun involves things that are somewhat more difficult in the game to do whether it is grinding reputations or going for specific achievements in raids. Since I was not feeling in a raiding mood, I settled on the thought of working on one of those grinding achievements! The problem was which one did I want to focus on? This one sort of came out of left field, but the Twenty Five Tabard achievement is what came to mind. I had thought about this one in the past, but I had always gotten distracted by looking at other shinies as it were. So I decided to go and pull up a list of tabards over at WoW Head and see which ones were easily obtainable. In truth, most of the easy ones I already have and I refuse to sell one that I worked hard to get, just so I can go and buy an alternate version of it (think Midsummer Fire Tabards).

I was sitting at fourteen tabards and had long neglected picking up a couple easy ones. This literally shows how lazy I am when it comes to things in the game but I had yet to go and pick up my Warsong Tabard and also one of the ones you can get in Orgrimmar for honor (A lot of honor since patch). I had purchased the Scouts Tabard a long, long, long time ago so it is the other one which is escaping my mind at this moment. So two easy tabards and I am at 16. This then left me sitting thinking about the other nine that are needed. I know I never did a lot of quests in Outland due to my hatred of questing and so I can do the questline out in Shadowmoon for the Illidari Tabard (which I have on Emprius from helping a guild member back in the Burning Crusade days). So that moves me down to eight tabards. Things are looking good but where exactly do I focus in on?

Well, looking at my reputation I see the Cenarian Expedition and Lower City factions from the Burning Crusade are at Revered status. It just means spending some time running some old heroics to grind out that last bit of reputation. Two more factions at revered from the Burning Crusade is the Keepers of Time and Thrallmar! So that puts me down to four more that I need to try to focus in on. The easy answer would be to pick up some tabards from the Argent Tournament! I did do all that jousting and grinding for a reason right? Well, that is not my style! (Although I may do it for the sake of getting the achievement completed.)

See, I like to do things that I can take pride in and also I like to tie in achievements that are easier to complete with achievements that are somewhat more complicated or just simply takes a large amount of time to complete. For instance, when I started working on my Explore Achievement I chose to begin it during one of the Hollow's End events from previous years. This allowed me to do something that was boring (running all over Azeroth and Outland) and tie it into something that I really wanted which was the Hallowed title. So my goal is to do the same with the tabard achievement. I have not made it a secret that I really want to get the forty exalted reputations and this is a perfect little achievement to wrap into that one! You see, there are a lot of factions that have tabards that I am at honored and revered. So grinding for reputation serves two purposes, but I can make it fit into three by adding in a grind to max out my exalted reputation with the Defilers! Oh and if you have not seen the tabard you get upon completing the quest that you are given upon maxing out the exalted reputation, then go look at it right now. It was one of the best looking tabards from back in Vanilla WoW and in my humble opinion is still one of the best looking tabards and it is one of those things that you get in game that tells everyone that there was no easy way of getting that.

So by now, I am guessing that all this achievement talk has you wondering what in the hell the name of this post has to do with what I have been talking about. Well, glad you either stuck around to find out or skipped down to this part. You see to kick off working on the reputation for the Defilers I hopped in a few AB matches last night (got three victories and only one loss) and encountered this Alliance rogue named Fiola from Dunemaul. I was at the Blacksmith flag (which I typically try to go to) defending and this poor Rogue tried everything that (s)he could think of to kill me. It didn't work. I stood there healing like a Paladin possessed. What I found funny was that the entire time I am eating her assault, she is spamming /chicken at me. I was laughing so hard I was afraid I might wake my family up. It just amused me that this Rogue was probably use to one shotting players in lower brackets and had created this macro to annoy, piss off, or insult whomever they were attacking; however, when you cannot kill the target you are spamming, and even worse the target gets the killing blow on you........... it may be time to consider letting go of that macro. Just saying! It was amusing because in that match I had only one killing blow and it was on this poor Rogue with the bad macro. So two thumbs up Fiola for making me laugh and two jeers for having a horrible macro!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Is Respect Too Much?

This has been a really, really good week for me personally. The highlight of my week was the return of a good friend who has not played WoW in over two years. Out of the blue last week I received this message from him telling me he was thinking of coming back and wanted to know if the old group is still playing. I was happy and immediately let him know that we are still playing and then did my best to keep the secret of his return. This guy is a fun person to be around and the older members of the guild were electrified to see him back and it created such a great atmosphere this past week. It also meant a lot of work to help him learn about the significant changes to the Hunter class. Back in the day when we were playing, he was my very first arena partner and also was with us for the initial push into raiding back in the Burning Crusade so I knew his gear would be good enough for a few levels.

He worked his butt off this week and hit 80 (with some help from the rest of us) and so we got him some beginner gear and hit the heroic scene up. First let me say, I have not ran heroics in any serious way in probably three to four months. I expected to have some rough groups simply because it is post patch and tanks have a God complex now days, but damn I was surprised at how bad it has actually become. Now maybe it is just my bad luck or a combination of my bad luck with his bad luck but we got the creme of the crop in bad attitude, bad skill, and well just bad players in general. 

I watched as people insulted my friends gear, talent build, class, and anything else they could get a keep jab in right up until I had my fill of it. We were in a heroic Nexus run with all guild except this moronic Death Knight tank. This guy had some serious issues with holding agro and I was very nice and never complained about anything at all with him because I realize that with Death Knights some things are still off because Runic Strike is still set to trigger only with an avoidance rather than by mere runic power alone. However, this Dick Knight started in on my buddy as we headed into the chamber for the second boss. I was healing on Popebutch (as Discipline) and having got a mountain of achievements, gear, and a very solid spec I informed the dick that there was nothing wrong with my friend except for one retarded Dick Knight who couldn't hold agro. I also reminded the asshole that heroics for getting gear and working on your game (something he surely needed to do). I made a few other points and then stopped myself from crossing that line of lowering myself to that level.

The tank got insulted that someone would not stand there and take his crap and so he made an attempt to wipe us by pulling two platforms worth of mobs and then dropping group. I am proud to say that the members of MAS pulled together and our DPS Warrior picked up agro as best he could while I spammed shields and heals to all party members and assisted with some DPS as well. We burned the mobs, had no wipes, and got rid of a retarded tank that was replaced by a great tank with an even better attitude. All in all we had a good run and no wipes.

My issue as of late is with the attitude of so many players now day. I recently leveled my Death Knight (Methusaleh) to level 80 and started working on a few random dungeons and have encountered nothing but poor attitudes. It seems so much worse now than it did months back when I was finishing up working on Whoopy. With my Death Knight I have a Blood tanking build and an Unholy DPS build. I use my tanking build for guild runs in regular dungeons and my Unholy DPS build in heroic dungeons. In the regular dungeons I will admit I have not encountered a lot of the poor attitudes, but heroics are filled full of want-to-be players with horrible attitudes. I really am surprised that at this point in the expansion that people are acting this way. They bark orders out like everyone has a learning disability and treat you slightly better than dirt. I feel sorry for newer players or those returning like my friend. I have to wonder is it really too much to ask that people be respectful of others and remember that it is just a game? 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Two Years

So yesterday marked the end of my second full year of blogging. I have to admit that things have come a long, long way from the very first post here at Holy Shock and my life is the better for it. So, instead of talking about accomplishments and the like I am instead going to take some time and thank some of the people that have inspired me as a person and as a blogger.

The first person I have to thank is Fish over at Gnome Warrior Is An Oxymoron! If he had not talked to me about blogging I probably never would have taken that first step. Along with that, he is a great guy and good friend. When I went through some of the worst times of my life he was always there with an encouraging word or a shoulder to lean on. Thanks buddy!

The second person I would like to think is Larisa from The Pink Pigtail Inn. She was the very first person to post a comment on my blog and she is an inspiration to me in the way that she goes about writing. I admire her dedication to writing and only hope that I could one day reach that level.

The next person is a group of persons. They are the members of my guild. Some of them have blogs like my wife Eus with The Suicidal Healer, Edyion from Code Red, and Matt from Abbadonn's Wrath. I really do consider myself lucky to be able to play this game with such a great group of people in MAS!

One of my all time favorite blogs is WTFspaghetti. I am always happy to see something new posted over there. The thing that I like about the blog is that thedoctor writes things in a way that are entertaining yet informative and dare I say at times thought provoking? Let's not forget that kick ass choir!

I couldn't make a list of thanks without thanking each and every one of you bloggers who write about Paladins. You guys rock and are a great group of people. To the Holy Paladins out there, keep your chins up and don't sweat the changes. Change is a good thing and a necessary thing in life. Work with what you have been given and in time you will be right back where you were and probably doing some things that you may never thought you would be able to do. Keep representing our class with pride!

In closing I just want to share some advice with all of the bloggers and potential bloggers out there. Over these last couple years I have learned so much about the game, myself, and writing a blog. One of the biggest things I learned was to quit comparing myself against those who have been established for some time. You need to remember why you started blogging and then focus on writing the best post that you can write. The blogsphere doesn't need a hundred Ruhtras writing blogs (although that would be sweet!), it needs each and every one of you as individuals with your own thoughts and views. Too many times when I first started to write something I would stop and think about someone else who had written something similar and think to myself that their article was much better and what could I possibly add to the topic. When in reality, we are unique and approach the game from different areas of life. Some of us our older with children and established careers. Some of us our young and may have just gotten out of college. Hell, some of us may even still be in college or even high school. It really doesn't matter because my point is that we are all coming from different walks of life and if it is something that you feel is important, then you write your post and have your voice heard as well.

Once again thank you to everyone who writes a blog, reads a blog, and even trolls a blog. Without you all these last two years would not have been nearly as much fun. Take care!