Monthly Archives: December 2009

Yes, I will murder those men in cold blood to avenge your son. For great justice.

I keep learning all of these utility things and I feel like such a paladin padawan. Like I learned Hand of Salvation. I know a ret pally will use this on themselves to make sure they don’t pull threat and then go splat. Is it typical for a pally healer to use it in a similar fashion to put on a DPS? Should I save it for myself in case I have a terrible tank and am pulling healing threat (not an unheard of situation, believe me).

Anyway, I keep logging on with Vid determined to look into these things beforehand, and end up saying, “Meh, I’ll figure it out” and just diving in. Today I managed to squeeze in three full instances; leveling handily from 23 some odd to 26. Incidentally – I’m referring to people by their classes instead of their names here to preserve at least some anonymity, not because I actually call people “Tank” or “Hey you person that smacks things.”

Stormwind Stockades – “Shaman didn’t pull shit!”
First up on the random menu, home to Stormwind’s nastiest criminals. No really, these guys are level twenty. One of them even has a BoP blue, they mean business.

I’m learning a few pug cues I never really paid attention to before. One: when your tank walks into Stocks and says “Which way?” you’re probably not in for a great run. Those of you who’ve never had the dubious ‘pleasure’ of enjoying this instance may not know what I mean… it’s a corridor, in essence. You start at the centre. You can go left, and then after you’ve cleared left, you’ll be going right. Or you can go right, and then you’ll be clearing left in due time.

It took us so long to go through this instance that by the time we were going right, we had re-spawns. I didn’t even know Stocks could HAVE respawns. The warrior tank didn’t exactly know what he was doing, but we muddled through regardless. Poor DPS at these levels is giving me ample opportunity to judge Wisdom and then flail ineffectually at things with my healing mace to try and get some mana back. I think it’s working somewhat.

At one point we had a group member drop, just as we were coming to the room with the ogre boss. Now, I’m a little vague on the details of what happened here. I’m pretty sure I saw the hunter’s wolf run into the room on the right. I’m tempted to say I saw the warrior tank sprint merrily into the room on the left. And I know for a fact that I followed the shaman into another room. The tank exclaimed gleefully while we were running back to our bodies, “I think I counted ten at one point!”

Did you know the graveyard you appear at when you die in Stocks is in Elwynn? Neither did I! On the long run back I coached my group members on the finer points of not aggroing half the damn instance. “Do you think we need a fifth?” the tank asks. “Nope, we’ll be fine if we don’t pull all three rooms. The hunter pulled a room, you pulled another, and the shaman ran into a third.” The shaman insisted he was only following the feared warrior tank (this is possible) with an emphatic, “Shaman didn’t pull shit!” I had to give him credit for his conviction, but being that I stood in the doorway of a room full of mobs into which he cast a lightning bolt… I remain dubious.

We go back in to try again, unfortunately we somehow lost Dextren Ward in the fray, and he won’t respawn, so we can’t chop his hand off. It’s during this confused trash clearing that I realize something. Every single green that drops, the Hunter is rolling Need on it. When he rolls need on Bright Mantle, I call foul.

Me: Hunter, why are you needing on everything?
Hunter: cuz I can use it and make my armor better
Hunter: do you know how hard it is not to die from melee as a hunter?
Shaman: You should play a lock priest or mage they wear cloth
Hunter: I need the best possible protection
Me: I hope Bright Mantle helps, lol
Hunter: I can use Cloth, Leather and when I hit 40 Mail.
Shaman: Cloth is for a damn caster type… you should only roll need on Leather
Me: I am sure he does, LMAO
Hunter: O chit I gotta go, sorry
Hunter: but cloth shoulders were the best 4 now
Me: Good luck with your melee problem!

I liked the Tourette’s shaman, he tried to get the hunter to give me the shoulders but I demurred. I left the group secure in the knowledge, at least, that the next time the tank should know which way to go (left or right), and the hunter… bless him, I’ll bet he never runs out of mana, he has such high spirit!

Blackfathom Deeps – Please light one candle at a time, guys
I actually made sure to collect the easily available quests for this instance in case I happened to get popped in line for it – and it pays off! I gained at least half a level from these instance quests; they were all red and orange to me. My second instance is everyone’s favourite murloc-ridden, Twilight Cultist dwelling cavern. I have a fond place in my heart for this instance, because it was the first one I stumbled through as a completely noob priest with no idea what I was doing, a year and a half ago. I hope I acquit myself better as a healer this time around and I can make up for past wrongs. I remember it because being my first character at the time, the other party members actually pointed out how bad my gear was – “lol you need better gear!” and I shamed them by saying that it was my first character and I couldn’t afford the AH prices to buy anything.

Vidyala, on the other hand, practically glows when she walks she’s so laden with antiques, so nobody tells her she needs better gear. I join the instance in progress, they’ve already downed the turtle boss, and a mage joins at the same time as I do. We head down the tunnels as the mage begins attacking neutral crabs or something. I tell him we don’t need to kill those, we’re trying to get to the group. As it turns out, the group comes to us, as we reach the first true boss: platform jumping.

I can only assume that the current generation of young WoW players missed out on Mario or something, because we spend an inordinate amount of time waiting for this poor mage to manage three jumps in a row to make it across the water. I remember there’s a cheat you can run along the wall and skip it, but instead I watch as the shaman coaches the mage by showing him where to jump. Amid “lol wut r u guys doing,” everyone comes back to find us. “I’m helping this mage!” The funniest thing is, this is probably the hardest part of the whole dungeon.

Eventually he gets it and we move on – I have to tell the party “to please stop attacking random crustaceans,” and they manage to restrain themselves for the most part. We had a hard time keeping this party together and at one point I thought we wouldn’t finish it – the mage dropped early on, the shaman not long after. Eventually they’re replaced by a hunter and another rogue. It dawns on me, as we’re moving through the Twilight Cultist section and the hunter’s pet tanks a mob off in the corner and dies – my healing UI is not set up to display warlock or hunter pets. I must remember to fix that before I run another instance.

I really haven’t met many tanks I particularly like or trust doing this. I wonder if that will change or improve as I reach higher levels? They’ve been mostly bumbling and blissfully unaware of the fact that the healer can’t heal them if they run on ahead out of range, or if the healer is completely out of mana since they pulled an entire room of murlocs with their face.

By some miracle though we get this one done, too. I even get a piece of loot at the end! Moss Cinch is better than what I’ve been wearing and we only have cloth-wearing casters, so I need roll on it. Cuz I need it to make my armour better. Do you know how hard it is to avoid being killed in melee as a holy paladin? At 40 I can wear plate and I’ll roll Need on that, too!

Razorfen Kraul – Would anyone actually eat the meat that drops from these mobs?
I need to start taking into account that these classic instances…they’re often LONG. These aren’t “I can knock out a quick instance in 20 minutes” kinds of places. They’re more like “Let’s venture into a tangle of thorns and pigs and see how many times we can get lost, mmkay?”

I’m going to be frank here and admit that I recall very little of this actual instance. The tank was pretty decent, except for the expected oblivious understanding of my mana restrictions as he chain pulled while I gasped along behind. Mana, btw, is lasting a goodly long while now. Flash of Light is helping me a great deal to not just spam massive heals; if we have many melee I can cast Holy Light on the tank and see if the little heal from the glyph will top them all off, and spot heal FoL where necessary. A few pulls in here got pretty hairy, and actually the last boss (some big pig lady?) was interesting, she was casting a chain of lightning sort of effect the whole time. I’m not sure what the range on the jump for it was, since she was tanked in a little hut at the top of the stairs.

Anyway, at that point I realized how intense pally healing can get at this level, when you have a lot of AoE damage going out. If you aren’t constantly casting, you’re doing it wrong. This place had a lot of annoying debuffs I couldn’t dispell just yet. Magic effects, curses. No poisons of course, because those I could dispel.

At some point the tank, hunter and I got hopelessly, uselessly lost on the other side of the instance from the druid.

Tank: “Crap guys, I really have no idea where we are.”
Hunter (as we pull a pair of quilboar) “Why don’t you ask these guys for directions?”
Me: “He won’t, guys never do.”

(You know it’s true). At the end of the instance time is getting really tight for me since I haven’t eaten and we’re raiding in about an hour. Once we finally manage to find the rest of the group I tell them I’ve got five minutes, tops, so let’s get this done. A few minutes later they’re still messing around and I say, “Less talk, more killing!” I mention this only because it prompts the warrior to say, “I’m the one doing all the killing here!” and I tell him, “Well, I’m keeping you alive while you do it, so we’ll call it even.” The feral druid is mightily offended by this, and he interjects, “I disagree! Everyone knows it is us who are doing the damaging, you tank things but we will damage them.”

I glance over at the damage meter. Of course he’s right…kinda. In practice, the feral druid has done less than half the damage the tank has, and none of the DPS are even close to the tank. I point out that he put me on follow and went AFK to eat supper for half the instance, although his theory is sound. The tank links the damage meter. I’m actually a little ashamed to be running a damage meter in an instance at this level. So far the hottest DPS I’ve come across is doing a whopping 50 damage per second! Quilboar don’t have that much HP, y’know.

You don’t want to know where they are wearing those bandanas.

Stormwind Stockades
There’s no question that this is a slow method of leveling, but it’s convenient. I just have to login, make sure I have water to drink and bagspace, hop in the queue and away I go. So I would call it both incredibly slow and incredibly fast. Today I was randomly queued for Stocks, which impressed itself upon me as the singularly most boring instance in the game. (Somebody remind me if I bitch about the wolves again). But, at least it is fast and easy, but there’s really not much return for time investment. BoP blues? Just one. Greens? Only a few. It’s like someone took all the trashiest trash and just crammed it in a few hallways with the same repetitive rooms lined up one side and down the other. That said, the instance was fast and easy owing to some other good group members.

I encountered my first issue with the Looking for Dungeon system, though. Well, maybe “idiosyncrasy” would be more accurate. Anyway, the group was nice, we all got along well, so the leader said, “Who’s up for another?” Everyone was. The only problem was that the extreme outliers (myself, at level 22, and another pally at level 26) were basically making it impossible to queue for something appropriate to all of us. The other group members were 24-25. It kept giving the error, “One of more of your group members do not meet the requirements for this dungeon.” So it would try to queue us for Gnomer (shudder) and then say we couldn’t go because I was too low level. Then I can only assume it would try to queue us for something like Deadmines and encounter the same error with our level 26 friend.

I suggested we queue for something specifically – I can do RFK at this level, or BFD, or whatever, but the two hunters immediately dropped group. I speculate they want the “Satchel of Helpful Goods” granted from doing a random, every time. Which is a shame because it was a good group. Now I only hope I can avoid being queued for Gnomer during the course of my leveling, which inevitably means I will run it five times, minimum.

Needs more wolves.

Adventures in Shadowfang Keep

Well this is new and exciting! I’m here, I’m excited! If you stand too near the door at the front, it pulls a pat. If you panic and back up – you back out of the instance and get teleported back to the Exodar. Then you say “OMG OMG OMG” while frantically trying to click on the “Teleport back to instance” button.

When you get back, act cool as if you meant to do it, nobody will know the difference.

Shadowfang Keep has, um, wow. A lot of stairs, a lot of worgen. Worgen, stairs, ghosts – wtf was that a ghost horse? worgen, stairs… Bear tank says “I have to go, guys, my dad needs the computer.”

Priest and Rogue turn to look at me.

“…Why is everyone looking at me? Well sure, I can wear plate, but I don’t… you know, that’s not really what I…”

“…”

I finish SFK as the ‘tank’ while Voss looks over my shoulder shouting, “That one got away from you! Are you turning with your keyboard? OK now taunt it. If they pull aggro it’s their own fault. Let that guy die.”

Amazingly, we finish with no wipes or deaths. I very decidedly unselect ‘tank’ from my random group options and toss myself back in.

Shadowfang Keep…again
Well sure, RNG, I guess I could run SFK again. If you insist. Crap, I aggroed that pat by the door again. Aaand, why am I getting a loading screen…? Oh right. That’s the entrance door, again. This group was a mixed bag. Our valiant pink-haired gnome warrior lead was tanking but not with any real zeal. At one point a shield dropped and I greeded assuming he’d take it – great shield, right? For tanking? He passes and says, “Nice shield, too bad I’m Fury lol.” He did not badly at holding aggro though, for a guy in battle stance with a two-hander. I guess at lower levels it doesn’t really matter too much.

I’m starting to dread running into hunters in these things. One hunter only brought out his pet about halfway through the instance. We’d pull a group, and he’d run in to start DPS – with his axe. He need rolled on [Some Cloth Thing Of The Owl]. I tried to see if I could out-DPS the pair of them but we had too many reckless pulls where I had to heal a great deal. (Glyph of Holy Light is WIN). This tank was nice about waiting for mana when I asked him, but it was always a surprise to him. He’d say, “Oh, k.” I imagine his thought process: “What? Why are we stopping? Where is my healer? You need to refill that funny blue bar? Why is that? Oh it powers your SPELLS. So it’s like rage. Only more like… peaceful? Okay, we can do that.”

Five minutes later “Mana, wait please.”
“What? Why are we stopping? What’s with you and the blue bar, can’t you just hit something and fill it up? No? Siiiigh.”

Arugal turned me into a worgen and for a moment I was inexplicably in Silverpine, and a worgen.

Shadowfang Keep – why do something else when you could do it again?

Another bear tank, this one stuck with us until the end. He said, “Just to let you guys know, I haven’t done this before.”

I told him, “You’re in luck, because this is my third time today!” I know all about the worgen. And the stairs. And the other worgen.

This group actually sort of redeemed the other ones. We had a nearly silent ret pally who asked quietly (I don’t know how she did it quietly, but somehow) if she could Need on an axe that dropped. We had a good hunter, everyone dinged at least once during the instance (including the wolf, “Buddy”) and much fun was had by all.

I can’t think of anything else noteworthy that happened. I think some wolves were killed.

Notes for next time: I’m level 22 now! My mana is lasting longer and I really don’t need to drink as much as I did. As Jorah observed, I could go to BFD to tackle some elite murlocs. You might think that with all of this pugging I’ve got quite a lot of blue gear drops – you would be wrong. I did snag a leather belt upgrade and like… some cloth gloves that had more int than the ones I had, yes they have spirit, yes I know that’s bad, but they were better! I know better than to expect spellpower mail, though – I remember what it was like with my elemental shaman. So I’ll make do with what I can as we go along, and someday a long time from now spellpower plate shall drop and I will say IN YOUR FACE because only another plate wearer can roll Need on it… And I’ll lose the roll to a DK.

Wait times to kill wolves are still under a minute. My flashy heals are much in demand!

“Because I am the tank, and I can do whatever I want, that’s what being the tank means.”

Further adventures of a very new healing paladin. The following day saw me visiting the Looking for Dungeon tool once more.

Deadmines
By this point I was about halfway through level 19 and I really wanted to hit 20 and get some horsepower. So off I go to another random instance, which turns out to be DM. Not before picking up a Glyph of Holy Light, though. Which is supremely awesome! I also got Glyph of Lay on Hands for my minor glyph. I should note, BTW, that I’m experiencing wait times of less than 5 mins, and usually more like about a minute or less. I zone into a fresh DM group that seems ready to go; a mage, two shaman, and a warrior tank. Even though I’ve respecced my meager holy spec to try and get more int I am still having some issues with mana so I’m struggling along behind the tank a bit as he rushes ahead.

Things get interesting when he starts bitching at the shaman “wth shammy, y u do that? don’t run ahead of me.” At this point I told him “Yeah, and don’t run ahead of ME because I’m trying to keep up but I need to stop and drink sometimes in-between pulls.” It gets ugly when there’s a pat that comes in on us from behind – oblivious, the ‘tank’ rushes on ahead to aggro the next group. I manage to get in-between the two fighting groups to keep him from dying and keep the squishier folks at the back alive but I’m pretty OOM by the end and I say, “WTH, why would you go and aggro another group when there are still mobs back here?”

His response: “Because I am the tank, and I can do whatever I want, that’s what being the tank means.”    Needless to say, it went downhill from there. We were at the point where you open the door and go down the spiral staircase to fight some goblins as the shaman were arguing with Mr. I’m The Tank, Foo- one of them said, “Well she’s heals, so she can just let you die, don’t heal him!” Of course I am going to keep healing him though because not healing him means we’ll probably die. But as soon as I can catch him in-between combat (apparently you can’t use Vote To Kick in combat) I vote to oust him and he’s gone. We go on to kill the next boss with the enh shammy tanking – she was tanking half the time anyhow, I figured she’d be fine for it, but after this it got a bit hairy. Enh shaman had to go, a new tank joined the group but he’s all the way back at the beginning and we’re already in combat. We start to go back to meet him but he’s already dead. He releases and runs back but doesn’t wait for us to reach him – gets killed again. At this point we’re all pretty fed up, and the tank ends up just quitting and the group falls apart. No Satchel of helpful goods for incomplete DM.

Wailing Caverns
I queued for another random awhile later hoping to get something short, but scored out with WC again. In this case the tank went one direction, two of the DPS went another… it was just the tank and I, I got put to sleep, he died, I died… Two of the DPS left, I sensed it was going to be an unenjoyable experience so I told them regrettably I’d have to go and didn’t have time to wait for more people.

That said, I’ve managed to get from about level 17-20 just with the above mentioned instances. I have a horse! And I learned Flash of Light. And put one point in Illumination, which is possibly a bad idea with the low levels of crit that I have, I’m not sure. I think that having a smaller, less mana-intensive heal will help me top people off a little bit and should help with my mana situation. I also learned Consecrate apparently. And Kings! Which is  really powerful at this level, I mean it’s great at every level, but it helps me squeeze a bit more out of my meagre stats. So that’s my pugging experience with my baby pally so far, we’ll see how it goes from here. If I wind up in a Gnomer pug at some point I may have to abandon the whole venture.

A pugging pally is born.

December 11th! The fateful day in which I roll up to the Create a New character screen and decide I’d like to make a paladin. I have a sort of kind of idea that I’d like to see how the Looking for Dungeon tool functions at lower levels, but no specific plans at this point. I clop happily through Azuremyst, bludgeoning moths and feeling guilty every time I don’t heal one of the injured Exodar survivors (“Ugh, it hurts! Help me, please!”)

As soon as I can reach a mailbox, I make sure my baby pally has plenty of bagspace and some shiny new heirloom items. Equipped with this BoA gear she goes about her merry way, to try and get to a level where she’s actually worthy to set hoof in an instance. I died only one time during actual questing/leveling – got a little too pull happy with some satyrs and paid the price.

A few days later I hit level… I think 17? I was playing around with a weird ret spec (all seven points!) and then I decided to just go Holy. It will be either a tanking or healing spec that I know will get me into groups quickly, and I’m more comfortable with healing – even though I have tanked a little before, with my warrior.

At this point, Vid’s wearing (for healing)
Mystical Pauldrons of Elements
Mystical Vest of Elements
Devout Aurastone Hammer
Discerning Eye of the Beast (x2)

Her other gear is pretty crappy but with that much inherited twink I figure it won’t matter for her.

Wailing Caverns

First pug instance! I’ll admit to cringing a little when the loading screen came up. My experiences going through here at higher levels have always been confused and loooong. Thankfully, my pug group was really quite pro. All of them were kitted out in BoA gear and knew their roles. More importantly, they knew which way to go in the instance.

The mobs here cast Sleep quite a bit. The priest in the group was not only dispelling it off me but actually apologized for being [i]too slow[/i] about doing so… I told him that dispelling at all means I’d never complain. We cleared this, I still have no idea what direction to go in it, but no wipes and no problems. Mana was kind of an issue, I went through so much water that I’d exhausted mine as well as the stuff the mage gave me. Mine was fancier, though, being Melon Juice and all.

Deadmines

Another group that really knew what they were doing, this only took us about a half hour. We just systematically went through and wiped the whole place out. My joking attempts to exhort people not to stand in the GIANT BURNING OMG FLAMESTRIKE aside, I had a good time. There was another pally along who said, “Heals what glyph would you recommend for a leveling pally” – at which point I realized that I didn’t HAVE a glyph. I didn’t complain about the Flamestrike so much after that. Also – people who call me ‘heals’ want to make sure they never have the opportunity to partake in those ‘heals’…. But the group was fine and I had fun. I’ve never actually taken damage from a parrot before.