Wednesday Linking Love

So I’ve been doing some thinking about my lovable Holy paladin since I wrote the last post. I’m contemplating some radical things. Well, not really. First of all, I took Lara’s most excellent advice. I’d been meaning to put gems in the (leather, sigh) gloves that I’d nabbed from Underbog, but I was planning on Northrend green gems. Meantime, I have no less than eleventy-billion Autumn’s Glow in my alt bank – why not use two to twink out my gear a little? Same with the Intellect enchant on my shield. It was 12 Infinite Dust… It’s really not that big a deal. So I gained a good chunk of Int there. (You know you’re a twink when the base stats of your shield are 11 intellect – and you enchant it to have twenty-five more). That should help somewhat with my mana issues.

But another thing I’m thinking of doing is just not using Beacon that much. I’ll admit it here freely. I didn’t even look at the mana cost (duh). 35% of my base mana? That’s huge. I know for a holy pally at end-game swimming in Int that wouldn’t be a big deal – plus there’s things like Divine Plea that I don’t have yet. Just because it heals two people at once, so what? Isn’t much of that going to overheal? So I’m going to try that strategy for five-mans for now, or even consider Beaconing myself at times. I know, it’s not the ‘right’ way to do it and everything holy paladin I’ve read is all “Beacon tanks don’t be that noob,” but do they mean in a raid? Sure, you go into a raid and you’re a paladin so you beacon one tank and heal the heck out of the other, but in a five man at my level? I’m not sure. I belatedly found Ferraro’s leveling as holy guide and how to healing five mans but the second one draws on talents and abilities I don’t yet have. So I’m just going to muddle my way through and see how that goes for the time being.

Another thing I’ve been thinking about is related to this article by Matticus I read when it was published, almost a year ago. You know a blog post is a good one when you remember and go back searching for it, deliberately! It’s called The Secret to Being A World Class Healer, and I remember it because it’s part of the reason I’m pugging like I do. This is related to what I was saying in my last post about making myself available to a series of stupid pugs, battleground healing, whatever. I know of no better way to learn how to play as a healer than to just heal, heal, heal. I’ve always got room for improvement. Although the article is healing specific, you could apply it to any class or role. You want to tank? You can practice tanking even if you’re just leveling with a friend! When I was leveling a warrior, I leveled for a time with my husband’s DK and he was so annoying. He spent the whole time deliberately trying to pull aggro from me, even when we were just out questing (not using taunts or anything, but just pushing as much as he could). He forced me to become familiar with my tanking tools and we’d pull huge packs of mobs – Thunderclap and Shockwave were my friends! Consequently, the first time I stepped into an instance to tank it, I wasn’t completely green. I was pretty green, but I knew my tools.

The best tanks I know are the ones who just really love it. They’ll take any opportunity to tank an instance and it’s not because it makes for a faster queue time, it’s what they truly enjoy. Obviously, I don’t always enjoy the pugs I do. (Matticus laments that there is no ‘healing dummy,’ like there is for DPS, but… oh, do I have to say it? There are SOME dummies anyhow, they just aren’t stationary). The fact is though, I enjoy my pugs more often than not.

Since my last post, I’ve successfully completed Blood Furnace. I was all excited because the bear tank was so good, and I looked at his HP and said, “You have four thousand more HP than any other tank I’ve healed!” He laughed… He was level 66. I don’t know how he wound up tanking a Blood Furnace run, but I was glad that he did.

The Ramparts run I did after that saw me again being the element of fail, well, sort of. I always have a hard time finding the right entrance in the maze of Hellfire Citadel instances. I’m afraid I kept my group waiting during a corpse run. I was starting to get frustrated and said that I’d understand if they just wanted to ditch me and find a healer with a sense of direction, but the whole group was super nice. The DK tank had been very up-front at the beginning about how he’d never tanked before and we’d had a bit of back and forth. One group member remarked as we came to the first boss, “We should have been done by now,” and I told him I’d rather have a slow, calm Ramparts run than rush through and have a frustrating wipe-fest. And also, that it was the tank’s first time, so give him a break. The guy chilled out, and we finished the instance. Sure, it took longer than many others. Yes, we even wiped. Do I remember the cause of our wipe? No, I don’t. I remember that the group agreed to do it at a pace that would work for the new tank. I told the tank to just be conservative with his pulls, pull carefully, and we’d be fine. And we were!

Since then I’ve gone to Slave Pens and Underbog. Slave Pens had a druid tank who was extremely excited about Frenzied Regeneration. She kept saying, “Do you like that I’m healing myself and helping you out?!” Yes, Bear Butt, I certainly do. I was confused at first because I thought she meant she was dropping bear form and actually healing herself, but she wasn’t. She was just really happy about being a bear. It’s hard not to have fun when someone else is so clearly enjoying themselves! Also, stupid fearing mobs at the end of this instance can go and die in a fire. That’s it for Slave Pens.

As for Underbog, we had yet another struggling DK tank and a rotating roster of DPS that would either leave or be vote-kicked. The hunter was kicked because he kept pulling for the tank (I think, I voted “I’m going to stare at this box indecisively for a long moment because no reason for kicking was entered). A mage joined and said after one pull, “Ah, I see that the tank is very bad. Good-bye,” and left. The tank was greatly offended by this, incidentally, and spent the rest of the instance trying to prove how Un-Bad she really was. Which was actually good, as it meant that we made it through the Nightmare Hallway of Crowded Naga and Broken Doom relatively unscathed. I’m afraid we had a sacrificial warlock, though. And this ‘lock, she wasn’t doing it to herself. I couldn’t blame her at all. She just… made a lot of threat, and the tank did not. I made it a point to guard her carefully after her first two deaths, tossing her Salv when it was off cool-down and being ready with a quick “Save my warlock” CD when necessary. Once I focused on it she didn’t die again, so I was proud of that. See, I’m learning!

I don’t do linking love often enough and I really should, so this post is also about that. I’ll try to do it more often… perhaps on Wednesdays!

Here’s another great Matticus article I found when I was looking for the other one: 11 Reasons Guildmasters Fail. Obviously there are more reasons outside of the guild master why a guild might tank, but this one is aimed at GMs personally. It’s got some good points to consider, as always.

In a similar vein (aimed at keeping your raid healthy and happy!) I really liked what Natarumah over at Twisted Faith wrote about  Wipe Nights and Sustaining Your Raid. Breaks, people, it’s not that hard! Ultimately I believe you have better attempts after taking five minutes to stretch your legs and step away from things than pushing through and wiping interminably. It took our guild 121 wipes before we downed Mimiron’s hard-mode (back when our gear was equivalent to the encounter) and even the other day we went in with a number of new people to do it again and wiped a few times. It’s not easy. We had 70 LK wipes before a kill, and we took a break shortly before that kill.

A conversation from one of our wipe nights on LK:

RL: “OK guys, we’ve got time for one more really good attempt tonight so let’s make this one count”

Raider: “Or two or three really sh**** ones.”

RL: “You know what I mean!”

Other Raider: “I loled”

Raider: “Well it’s true!”

I also liked what Reversion over at LFM had to say about  Tanking 101: Leadership. I know very well the difference a good tank can make to how smoothly a run goes, and a lot of it is due to leadership. The “Dungeon Guide” can be anyone in the group, but it’s the tank who sets the pace, decides if they are going to pay attention to the healer’s mana or not, and can make a run very fun or very frustrating. I know, no pressure.

Spinks at Spinksville (How did I never know Spinks before now?) has some great points regarding How to Switch to Being More Casual. It’s an excellent post not just for people looking to switch to more casual, but also utilizing your game time and keeping it in perspective. I think so, anyhow!

Leafie has recently been through the classic instances, and she’s got quick reviews of each. Find ‘em here at  Classic Instance Nutshell Reviews. I might have to follow her example and do something similar sometime!

Dristanel at Physician’s Log talks about the  Top Ten Things Paladins Can Do (In Bed). I play a Paladin now, folks, and it’s all true, oh yeah. You want some more Beacon? I’m not surprised. But I am quite sleepy. (p.s. both of these links are probably not safe for work).

6 responses to “Wednesday Linking Love

  1. I had a relatively new bear tank in one of the Auchindoun instances who accidentally un-beared during a pull. Since I was watching the bars more than the action, I didn’t notice the lack of bear butt in my screen, only his plummeting health bar. “Hum de hum, shield, maybe a renew, I wonder what is happening in guild chat OMG 20% HEALTH WTF JUST HAPPEND?! FLASH HEAL FLASH HEAL WHAT IS HAPPENING AAAAAAH”

    He apologized afterwards and we had a good chuckle about it, but for a second there I swear my heart stopped from sheer dread.

    As for learning roles while not in dungeons, playing a hunter taught me a great deal while leveling about threat, aggro and even healing aggro (damn Mend Pet). 70 levels of watching yours and your pet’s threat levels on Omen really, really cements the principle for instancing. Basic concepts, but ones that a non-pet DPS class might not learn on their own.

    • @rades: Hah! Been there done that. Sometimes I was a not bear shaped smear on the floor and sometimes I managed to desperately hammer the bear button in time.

      What I really love doing is popping a couple damage absorbing cooldowns and dropping out of bear to do something epic, like b-rez the healer. Those sort of moments make me love being a druid.

      I also started as a hunter and the skills I learned with a pet stood me in good stead when I rolled a tank. My and some clothy friends use to run a lot of instances without a real tank and I pet tanked or pet off-tanked quite a lot. Or we would just be out questing and my owl was the tank. I hard to get good at saving mages and warlocks. All that did not automatically make me a good tank. I had to learn plenty, but it did give me a good working concept of things.

      @Vid
      Thanks for the link Vid! I felt like I almost started to rant in that one. It is becoming a peeve of mine how often people see someone making a critical error and don’t say anything out of politeness. People don’t learn stuff by magic. When I get on hunters for leaving their pet on growl and I remember getting chewed out for the very same thing as a young hunter in Dead Mines many moons ago.

      “You want to tank? You can practice tanking even if you’re just leveling with a friend! When I was leveling a warrior, I leveled for a time with my husband’s DK and he was so annoying. He spent the whole time deliberately trying to pull agro from me”

      Heheh. Did the same thing to my wife when she was running her pally up. Made for a little er tension at times but she learned great tanking in record time. Much faster than I did. I think the game is called ‘If I die it is your fault. Now try to keep up gogogogo!’.

  2. Ooh I like how you’ve linked to specific articles on people’s blogs. There are sooo many blogs out there and it’s hard to visit them all and decide whether I want to add them to my feed reader, so it’s nice to have some ‘recommended posts’ to get a taster.

  3. I’ve been enjoying your blog for a long time but haven’t commented yet.. I just have to say that I love a good Flight of the Conchords reference.

    Keep up the good work! :)

    • Thanks Borgadril. I’m kind of obliged to do it though; my guild’s name is Business Time. We didn’t choose the name but it was one of the attractive features. ;)

  4. “Just because it heals two people at once, so what? Isn’t much of that going to overheal?”

    That’s a question I struggled with when I was healing instances (I DPS nowadays). The answer I came up with is that it kind of depends on the instance, your party, and where you are with your gear. Some instances, like Utgarde Keep, you don’t need to bother with Beacon because a good tank will spread the mobs out for you. Others, like Halls of Stone, I found myself constantly using Beacon to keep up -particularly if you’ve got an overenthusiastic tank and a DPS pulling aggro in the mix.

    I guess the only way to know is to avoid Beacon unless you really need it.

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