In Other News, Fire Is Still Hot

*ETA: In order to give credit where its due, I think I saw this comic by Noxychu quite awhile ago and absorbed the message as A Funny Thing, thus using it as part of this entry’s title. But the original credit for being funny is hers!

I suppose I have to chronicle Hellfire in a more detailed way before I’ve blissfully forgotten it forever. Probably some of the quotes from the previous entry could do with some context as well. Let’s do this fast and dirty, just like a Ramparts run!

1. Hellfire Ramparts – In Which a DK is polite

We had a DK tank. He or she was polite, and that’s all I noted about the run. I suppose it’s bad that this is noteworthy? I should say, that any criticism of death knights at this level by no means is meant as a slam against people who play DKs at 80. I have known and enjoyed the company and skills of folks who’ve chosen to make this relatively new class their “main” characters, and most people in my guild have DK alts. I have a DK alt, but I made her to have a bank alt on my new server with initial bagspace, gold, and the ability to sprint around Azeroth mining for me. So she doesn’t count.

I should also note that when I am out doing aforementioned mining, it takes me a good amount of time to kill level 30 slimes because I have no idea what I am doing. If I were to ever actually level her, I have no doubt I’d be the failingest fail-ey DK of them all. Or I’d come to someone who knew better and get help. But I wouldn’t sign myself up to tank, that’s for sure.

2. Hellfire Ramparts – In Which Vid discovers Bacon

I think I’m starting to get the hang of it now, but when I first learned Beacon it was really strange to me. I had to set up my Vuhdo to readily show when Beacon dropped off the tank (BAD) and get used to healing other people instead of the tank. People who might not necessarily need healing. But when any AoE damage or other incidental damage was going out, I was ON THAT HEALING IT LOOK I’M HEALING TWO PEOPLE AT ONCE I AM AWESOME. And then the hunter got mad at me.

“Stop healing me!” he said. I could have sworn he’d taken damage. I was happy for the damage he’d taken. It gave me an excuse to heal the tank by proxy.

“??” I replied.

“Yeah, he can feign death,” the DK tank said. I got what they were saying. Don’t heal him because he doesn’t need healing because he can do his “I’m a dead hunter” trick. However.

“Yes, and I can heal the beaconed tank by healing someone else,” I told them both. “I’m glad we had this rundown of each others’ class abilities.”

“Oh,” they both loled. “I thought you were a shaman.”

Vid is going to hit 80 and be Retribution for weeks just for spite, I swear. She’ll be hitting things in the face with something large and sharp and growling between gritted teeth, “HOW DO YOU LIKE THE ‘SHAMAN’ NOW, HUH?”

3. Hellfire Ramparts – In Which Vid Laments Her Lack of Mana

The only thing I wrote to remember this instance was “MANA OMG.” Yes, my handwriting has a caps lock, too. I really, really was struggling for mana during these instances, especially the earlier ones, and it was stressing me the heck out. I started doing some Hellfire quests just to get a few upgrades, including a shield, a ring, pants, etc. I am still seeming to have trouble with mana though – I really don’t know what I am doing wrong. I’ve been using Divine Illumination whenever I can. I’m doing the Bacon thing which should be like double healing, right? And yet I’m gasping along behind. This wasn’t a problem with the level 50+ instances. Is it just that the DKs are taking much more damage? Is it their tanking? My healing? I’m just not sure. And someone else in this Ramps run thought I was a shaman, too. About 3/4 of the way through the instance they exclaimed, “Hey guys, I just noticed our healer is a paladin!”

Maybe it’s because I’ve played all the healing classes, but I’m quite attuned to the sound of different classes. DK tanks have that weird blood boil sound. Shaman healing sounds kind of like bells and occasionally grows flowers, also it is green. Paladin healing is bright and ‘Light’-ey, and Beacon makes that very distinctive… um… Well, is it a sound like bacon, perhaps? “Shhhhhhzzzap!” Yes? Apparently by the number of people who mistake me for a shaman, not everyone is paying attention to these things. Also, I built myself a roflcopter. I am happy.

What do you mean, it pollutes? I use diesel!

4. Hellfire Ramparts – In Which a DK is Mourned

I need to take better notes. All I wrote here was “Tank death (DK) ??” Wait, I get what I was saying. My tank died and I let it happen. I don’t know if they are just pulling too much or what, but I was feeling pretty down by this point. I couldn’t keep my mana up, people were dying, and the run was full of that silently accusatory, “Look, we pulled a bad healer” vibe. I started to feel like a fraud. Who am I writing about a holy paladin when I clearly don’t know what I’m doing, at all? But I forced myself to keep going. Even if it was just Beacon growing pains, I wouldn’t get better at it if I didn’t keep doing it.

5. Hellfire Ramparts – In Which There Is A Tank That Is Not A DK

This run had a warrior tank I chatted with briefly. First, I’m sorry again to the DKs, but I was cautiously hopeful when I saw that she/he was a warrior. This is a complete bias on my part. My husband plays a warrior. I just like them. They aren’t always good (and I’ve documented this fact here) but at least in this case it was something different. The warrior tank was pretty good. A bit of overzealous pulling but nobody died. She won style points at one juncture because she turned to one of the DPS DKs and said, “Hey, if you want to Death Grip that on over to yourself, you’re welcome to keep on tanking it.”

I laughed and whispered to her that I was glad she was tanking. She told me that the thing with many DKs is that it’s the first time they’ve tried tanking and so they often just don’t have the faintest idea what they’re doing. I can confirm this to be largely true.

6. Hellfire Ramparts – In Which Something Is Burning

This time we had a paladin tank. I like this because it means more blessings to go around. In general the run went pretty smoothly, with the usual buffoonery. First of all, I suppose if you want to name yourself “Crotch that is on fire,” you should probably spell it correctly. Secondly, why would you name yourself that? I can never bring myself to ask. But, “Firecroch” was the mage’s name.

However. You know during the Vazruden fight – the dragon is flying around above, breathing fire on everyone? The fire hits the ground in a splash and then it stays there. If you also stay there, well, it does a strange thing.

Sort of a burning thing.

So when I see Firecroch taking damage, I look over. Sure enough, Firecroch the mage is standing smack in the middle of the flaming death.

She’s still casting. She’s not moving.

Having initially tossed her a heal, my thought process went something like this (condensed over 1.5 seconds): “Hmm, if I heal her, it heals the tank anyway. But… she’s standing in the fire. And her name is Firecroch. And so if she died because she stood in the fire, wouldn’t that be funny and ironic? Plus it will teach her not to stand in fire. No it won’t, but it will still be funny and ironic.”

[Firecroch has died.]

7. Blood Furnace – In Which Chaos Ensues

This run, if I had let it, might have killed my pugging career all on its own. It had everything. A tank pulling ridiculously fast and not waiting for me to drink (a paladin, for what it’s worth, just to prove I don’t slander DKs exclusively). It also had: “Flossyourass,” a rogue, “Massmurder,” a balance druid, and “Criticalsnot,” a melee hunter.

There was a bit of a power struggle going on, because Criticalsnot seemed to feel that he should be the one pulling things. The tank, however, disagreed. This run did involve a wipe, too. The tank charged into a room full of red orcs, and as he was running he was throwing his shield at yet more orcs – and then he ducked behind a crack in the wall. Keep in mind, I’m about 20 yards back (having been drinking) and running to try to catch up. He died, horribly, and nobody said a word. During the run back, still nobody said anything. I started and stopped a few times, but I usually find it’s best not to say anything when I’m that angry.

It goes something like, “If you’d like us all not to die horribly–” [delete, delete], “For next time, it’d be nice if you could not break LoS so I can heal your stupid a–”… [delete, delete].

We got back to the room that had wiped us. The tank went in, and… pulled one group. He waited until it was dead, and THEN pulled the next group. Much better.

Until we get to the room with the giant head behind bars. There’s a number of trash packs in the room, that have to be systematically killed. Then you pull the lever, which releases one room of imprisoned orcs at a time. Then at the end, you engage the boss.

Not so, with this group. It went something more like:

- We kill most of the trash, but the two packs at the back of the room are still there. I’m drinking.

- Criticalsnot, the melee hunter, first PULLS THE LEVER, and then charges in to facepull these two packs of mobs. Deliberately.

- I let him die. (I don’t have guilt about this anymore.)

- Because none of us engaged those mobs or healed him, they don’t aggro immediately on us. The tank has time to pick up the first pack of orcs that are now rushing towards us, I have barely any mana. We manage to kill the leftover trash too. While this is all going on, he whispers me. “Rez me plz”

- I ignore him, because 1) I’m healing the gong show caused by his shenanigans, 2) First I’m a shaman, now I look like a druid? I can’t rez in combat any way. But I resolve that even when the whole thing is over, if we come out alive, I won’t rez him.

- Amazingly, we all live. He’s still dead on the floor, now sounding off in party chat. “Rez me, rez me.”

- Earning himself many points in my book, the tank says, “Why should we rez you? WTF is wrong with you?”

- I second the notion, but the druid is rezzing the guy for whatever reason. I initiate a vote to kick him as soon as I can, but miraculously it doesn’t pass, and then the tank leaves the group. I follow suit, very happy to wash my hands of the lot of them.

I have done some more pugging since then, but that’s all that I have the energy to detail here for the time being. As Vid is now level 63, I’m starting to get Underbog and Slave Pens runs, and I hadn’t yet set foot in Zangarmarsh at all. There are a few truths I’m now coming to realize.

If I can make it through the next ten levels of pugging, I can survive anything. When I first dabbled in healing, it was with my then level-70 priest. Our guild had almost no healers and somebody had to do it. I began leveling her to 80 (this was before any such LFD thing) making myself as available to pugs as possible. I healed a ton of pugs as I leveled, even though it was scary. I wanted them to be bad, and hectic, because I knew it was the best way to learn how to heal. Questing wouldn’t teach me that. Now I don’t need to learn how to heal, but I am learning how to heal as a holy paladin and it’s a work in progress. I really don’t think I was very good when I first got Beacon. It feels counter-intuitive to me to heal a target other than the one taking the most damage. I may still be doing it wrong and generally sucking, but I will improve (I hope). When a DK facepulls a room full of orcs that fear, it’s a challenge to me to pull it off in the face of great stupidity adversity. And that’s pretty fun.

The second truth is that these levels will go fast. I’m going to do quests that offer good rewards (in particular things like Librams and Trinkets that aren’t easily obtainable otherwise, although apparently Blood Furnace has a potential Libram for me!). Even with just a bit of questing I was half of the way to 64 in no time. I wasn’t trying to get so much XP, but I wanted a Libram! So Vid will probably rip through and be in Northrend in very short order.

Also, spellpower plate in Burning Crusade is oddly itemized. “Yay, spellpower plate! …Um, OK, I suppose I’ll take some strength with that, too. Why not?”

Finally, this is unrelated to pugging, and is shameless plugging on my part, but my husband asked me so plaintively, “Are you going to write about The Lich King?”

So yes, yes I am.

My strict ten-person raiding guild did this last night:

He's not so scary when he's got the gaping-mouth "I'm dead" thing going on.

And it was awesome. We’d been seeing steady progress since first attempting the fight, and we’ve had some staff turnover (almost an entirely new healing staff, come to think of it). So I’m immensely pleased and excited to start ICC hard modes next week, and to have such a great group of people to do this content with. We’re looking for one more DPS, by the way. If you are or know anyone who’s searching!

Finally, to whoever came here via searching for scarlet monastery +pornography, you won’t find that here!

OK no, really, finally, to the other person who searched the well dressed level 80 prot paladin – let’s be friends. We’ll have a fashion show. As soon as I can lose these lousy wiener fork shoulders.

32 responses to “In Other News, Fire Is Still Hot

  1. Grats on the Lich King kill! Wish I could say I’ve done the same, but my guild’s been having problems with it.

    • Thanks Traxsy! You will say the same. And it wasn’t like it was anything approaching effortless for us, believe me! I think we logged 71 wipes on him before this kill, it’s a tough and complicated fight to learn.

  2. [Firecroch has died.]
    I think players choose names “like that” to make other players laugh. Or at least I want to believe that. Anyway I laughed … at his/her death.

    Grats on LK kill, Mrs. Shamen

    And regarding how players sound… who knows with the music playing this loud I can barely hear anything.

  3. Woo grats on the LK kill Vid!! That’s very cool.

    Also, I do exactly the same thing in pugs when I am burning to write some scathing commentary (STOP DEATH GRIPPING! STOP FACE PULLING…delete, delete) but stop for my own sanity and the desperate hope that the group doesn’t implode, making us wait for new people.

    And surviving the BC pug run is indeed something special! My priest is almost done (67), having done literally no quests since Felwood. And I feel it’s honestly something to be proud of, considering just how mind-numbingly awful some of those runs are.

    I love the Zangarmarsh instances though, they are so tranquil looking and peaceful. Also, they’re not Hellfire. Unfortunately after them comes Auchindoun, which I am coming to dislike almost as much as the Hellfire ones (Mana Burn can go die in a fire).

  4. Very entertaining post, as usual :)
    But how does the hard-mode enabling for the LK work, anyway?
    Does everyone in the group have to have the LK killed? Or just the RaidLeader?
    Being on some forced raid break atm, so a few bosses left till I see him.

  5. ‘But, “Firecroch” was the mage’s name.’

    Hey, Firecroch could be into crocheting. You never know.

    When I started using Beacon when I was running my Pally in Holy Spec, I had two main problems: mana and spam heals.

    That 35% cut of your mana to fling the Bacon really can sap you on a long, drawn out fight. I never really appreciated that until I started using it extensively and began wondering why I kept running out of mana.

    I also had issues where individual DPS would be getting zapped but the tank was still in good shape, so while I’m healing the DPS the additional tank heal made it look like I was spam healing all over the place. I eventually learned to shrug that off, but it still nagged at me from time to time.

  6. I bet it’s the shoulders that you’re using that throw them off.

    And you’ve inspired me to make my own pugging pally! Let’s see if I actually get around to starting a blog/writing posts. :)

  7. In regards to the weirdly itemised spellpower plate, those are leftovers from early BC when retadins actually used a mix of strength and spellpower. Nowadays they are just there to confuse people. :P

    And as someone who’s levelled several healers through Outland… don’t feel too bad about having a hard time. It’s quite a sudden jump in difficulty from the old world, and things like the tank not being the right spec suddenly make much more of a difference.

  8. The “stop healing me” was the funniest thing I’ve read in weeks. You don’t see people complain about getting healed that often!

    On the weirdly itemized BC items, I kind of like them on my leveling paladins because I can use the same piece on more than one set and save on bag space.

    And grats on Lich King!

  9. It’s so exciting that you got the Lich King down! Congratulations to you and all your guild mates! That must feel really, really great! :)

    I know that a standard thing to do with Beacon of Light is to slap it on the tank and heal the rest of the group. And when I’m in a group where the tank has aggro on everything, the dps are well-behaved about threat and are not standing in fire, and … hahahaha, sorry. *wiping tears* Who am I kidding? That hardly ever happens in a pug. But that’s what I do when it does.

    When I’m thrown in with badly-behaved dps, however — and let’s face it, Hellfire Citadel is brimfull of that sort of thing — another game I like to play is “Beacon myself, and heal the tank.” It’s a milder version of a fun game I’ve seen people play in Vault of Archavon, in which the paladin tank DI’s the main healer while Archie is using the other tank as a battle club, and the dps can choose to either drop threat, or die horribly. (I may be a bad person, but I get a certain amount of glee out of just desserts). You and the tank will probably survive, but anybody else who isn’t playing nicely will soon “fall off the threat table”, sort of like how you’d prune an unruly house plant.

    Do you think you could find someone to cut you a couple of blue-quality Northrend Intellect/Mp5 hybrid gems for your gloves? I think your shield can take an Intellect enchant. I had mana problems until I got Divine Plea at level 71. It helps a LOT if you can get a Frost mage, Shadow priest, or Retribution paladin along for the replenishment effect. (Survival hunters and one of the Warlock specs used to provide it too, but I hardly ever see those specs anymore…). I think you’ll have a much easier time once you get Sacred Shield at 80, and can spec into Divine Guardian. For myself, I find the best solution for Holy paladin mana issues is just to stack more Intellect. Soon it will take you four bottles of water to fill your bar! :) Since the mana cost of our spells is based on a percentage of base mana, rather than max mana, I think it really can help to have as much as possible on your gear.

  10. Gratz on the king kill! That takes quite some effort. ^_^

    I have to agree with Lara on the MP/5 thing – you see a lot of people, both healers and caster DPS, prefer spellpower over everything else, because big heals and big damage counts.

    But your gear’s probably good enough that extra healing from a lot of extra spellpower is just going to overhealing. If your heals are way big enough, but your mana pool too small, you’re probably at that level.

    I am not sure if you’ve already done it, there are two relatively easy items to get from quests: Cenarion Thicket Legplates (or the cloth hat if you’re desperate) from the questline around Cenarion Thicket in Terokkar Forest is very decent and all these rewards have sockets to fill with (for example) Spellpower/MP5 or Intellect.

    In Zangarmarsh there is a quest “The Terror of Marshlight Lake” which offers leather boots with 2 sockets as well. I’d skip the plate reward belt, since it has Defense and such on it.

    Simply having a JC cut a few green-quality Northrend gems will be enough to get your gear at TBC epic-gem quality, and if you focus on mana and longevity there, you should be fine.

    Greetz!

    Natarumah

  11. Maybe the hunter was really called ‘Criticals.. NOT’ you know.. like in Borat when that one guy tries to explain American humour to Borat.

  12. On further reflection I should probably retract that statement because from your description of said hunter it really seems more likely he actually did mean critical snot.

  13. Sounds a lot like some of the pugs my priest did this weekend, Hellfire Ramparts and all. The ones where dks tanked were painful and I ran out of mana. The ones where my hubby’s warrior tanked were fun and fast and I had mana to spare. Most newbie dk tanks don’t know what talents they need to NOT be squishy as a mage (it’s not intuitive that you need 5 points at the base of each tree first thing) and that makes it really bad. The paladin tank should really have known better.

    Need to finish my own weekend writeup though it wasn’t nearly as… interesting… as yours. I never get the really good names. Though the one time I did and he annoyed us we reported his name and he had to change it… hah.

  14. I did, as the internets say, laugh out loud. Excellent post!

    I think the libram will be disappointing; if memory serves, it’s a consecration damage libram. But the trinket in BF is quite amazing, if you get that one!

    And to echo some other posters, if my skimming serves as well as the memory, beacon itself can actually blow your mana to bits if you actually use it when you don’t have to, so don’t think you HAVE to have beacon up at all times at low levels!

  15. WoW Vid, Gratz on LK!

    We had no fancy smancy Beacon back in my days in Hellfire P…and we had to walk to school up hill both ways, barefoot, in the snow…and we LIKED IT =) Um, that is to say, I don’t really have any insights on Beacon in the 60s lvl range. It seems the above posters have that covered anyways, “moar int plz”.

    Terrible toon names may seem amusing at the character selection screen, but you’d have to think after staring at it for 60 some odd levels you would be ready to pick something less likely to make you look like a giant tool.

    And, I just noticed there is a tiny smiley face at the bottom of your page! :) <–now there's on at the end of my comment, well it would have been the end if I could stop typing…

  16. orcisharmyknife

    Speaking of terrible names that seem amusing at the character select screen, I was greatly entertained to discover that the name Fat was available on my server and have it reserved for a future toon. ;D

  17. Doh, now I’m spamming *you* with trying to figure out how commenter name/gravatar stuff works! /sigh

    • What’s that, Rades? Why are you spamming me with such things? I don’t understand, what did I ever do to you?!

      (Also, to anyone else looking at it, this IS what you’re looking for. I blame Rades. :D)

  18. Pingback: Wednesday Reading « Cynwise's Battlefield Manual

  19. The title reminded me of this comic from wowhead
    :D

  20. Looks like your DKs are cousins of the ones I ran with last night.

    I’ve had a disc priest sitting on my bench for ages, so I decided to send him out to play, largely to get him to 65 to level professions.

    That meant a trip to Ramparts. Last night’s group had not one but TWO Death Nuggets, neither of whom wanted to tank. I wasn’t going to tank, and neither was the hunter. So that left … the mage.

    Two wipes later, I was done. I bet one of those DKs is still standing there asking us if he can have the sword that drops off the last boss.

  21. I agree – each class has a distinct sound and Shaman healing is in turns green then gold (chain heal). Surely the lack of totems clued them in though? Must be because you’re Draenei.

    Are you meant to be judging wisdom or something for mana? (I don’t really know – you’ve got 40 levels on my pally hehe)

    “[Firecroch has died.]” I literally LOLed at this one. Fortunately my roommates are out so I don’t need to worry about looking crazy.

    I’m in two mind about reaching level 60 using the Dungeon Finder. I love doing all the old world dungeons because I’m just not that familiar with them. But I know the BC ones quite well (not as well as the Wrath ones, but still). So either I’m going to be excited to come back, or I’m going to be groaning about the Auchindoun instances again:

    “Crypts? Again?”

    • I’m no expert, but when I’m in a melee-heavy group and I’m the only paladin, I like to judge Light, because it does a surprising amount of healing. Otherwise — like if there’s another paladin, or if there are a lot of casters, I usually judge Wisdom. Hunters in particular really like having Wisdom judged, as they seem to be perpetually mana-starved these days. (Then again, they also seem to have lost their Feign Death buttons, so maybe I’m just confused).

      The judgement effect lasts 20 seconds, but you only have to judge once a minute to keep up your Judgements of the Pure. You can save a little bit of mana by only refreshing your judgement when you must — though I don’t usally bother since Judgements are cheap. If I can do it safely, I like to keep up the Wisdom judgement and melee the mobs myself for mana back.

      For myself, I like to be in melee range so I can do helpful things like Holy Wrath undead to cut tank damage, or hammer-stun a wayward mob who’s heading for the Mage, or (since Aya is a blood-elf) Arcane Torrent to interrupt the casters. If you have to drink a lot, being in melee range also gives you a few more seconds to drink at the end of the pull, since you’re that much closer to the next pack. Sometimes you have to stay out to avoid being silenced, but often you can get right up in there with the rogues.

      It feels a little weird to be healing right in the middle of things like that, but once you get used to it, it’s not so bad. :) And if it all goes to hell in a handbasket, you can use your twelve free seconds of Divine Shield immunity to try and fix it. :)

  22. That was one of the funniest posts I’ve ever read. I had to stop halfway through to prevent epic bladder failure.

  23. Man, I had the exact same problem as #5 on my warrior tank. The dps DK was spamming death grip on every pull. I told them I don’t know how many times “don’t death grip again”, whispered the healer to not heal if they did it again, the rest of the group finally was telling them to stop using it, and finally, when the DK cause a near-wipe (me and the ele shammy somehow lived), we vote-kicked. And then got another DK, but this one knew how to play their class. \o/

    My pally healer does the “Beacon self, heal tank” strat a lot in heroics, but it’s mostly because I get tunnel vision and forget to watch my own health bar.

    Also, huge grats on the LK kill!!

  24. I don’t think I stopped laughing this whole post. I am right there with you, Vid. You are not alone in your healer PUG adventures!

  25. I’m here REALLY late but, as an 80 holy pally, I think the whole “don’t ever heal your beacon target rawr” mindset it asinine. I’ll freely admit; my guild hasn’t downed the Lich King yet, but I’m relatively certain that I’m a competent healer, and I heal my beacon target sometimes.

    I guess my point is that you shouldn’t feel bad for healing who needs it. Especially since Blizz is making noise like they want to nerf big heals on the beacon target–I wouldn’t stress yourself out trying to learn a style of healing that is ultimately going to be obsolete. Just my two cents.

    Gratz on the LK kill. :)

  26. Forgive me, I’m skipping backwards through posts here so I’m sure someone has already pointed this out, but I’m pretty sure it’s your heirloom shoulders that make everyone think your a shaman. I believe their the mail ones, right? I’m guessing they just glance at those and think, “Oh, shaman!”. ;D

    Still, not cool!

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