There’s no need to fear! Underbog is here.

when DKs in this world appear
and cause pally heals to shed a tear
they frighten all who see and hear
the cry goes up both far and near
not Underbog! Underbog! Underbog! Underbog!

speedy tanks and half-dead runners
fighting all because we blunder
It’s Underbog. Underbog!

when in this world the blogs all read
of those whose pugs are filled with greed
it’s plate gear but the hunter rolls need
to crush your spirits with blinding speed
comes Underbog! Underbog! Underbog! Underbog!

speedy tanks and half-dead runners
fighting all because we blunder
It’s Underbog. Underbog!

Guess what I’ve been doing, guys? Here’s a video so you can get the tune, and not think I’m just nuts. Well, you’ll probably think I’m nuts any way, but I’m okay with that. Plus if you’re anything like me it’ll be stuck in your head for an entire day afterwards!

Outlands has been rough on my little pally healing self. The soul-crushing weight of a thousand inexperienced DK tanks descended upon me, causing me to doubt myself and wonder if I could even finish this project. Sure, they were funny at first. Ramps was, as Rades so aptly put it, a clown car of WTF. (The clown car part, I added the rest myself). But you know, Underbog and Slave Pens aren’t really a joke either in terms of difficulty (particularly tanking difficulty). There are some tricky pulls at the beginning with all of those pathing bats and other miscellaneous doodads. It’s usually around this point where I know whether I’m in for a good run, or A Run. I’ve had a few not even worth mentioning (or remembering).

Today’s, though, was purely epic. Well, technically there were two today. The first one was fairly unmentionable, which is good! Nobody died. I went with the “do not beacon” tactic and it seems to help my mana quite a bit. I used it once or twice and then let it expire, but overall I seemed to do better going easy on Beacon for the time being. So that pug was fine, and I was only three bars away from leveling so I queued myself up for another one.

This time I zoned in and it was like a scene from Comedy Central.

“Who is the tank!” one DK kept saying.

(I kept myself from yelling “WHAT’S THE MAGE.” But only just barely).

Even the tank didn’t know he was the tank. “IDK who is the tank,” he said, “sposed to be me I guess.” Judging from how much I had to heal her, it might as well have been the elemental shaman – incidentally named “Angryfarmhoe.”

We blundered into the main room full of bats and elemental giants, miraculously managing not to die along the way. “I’m gliching! [sic]” the tank said.

“That’s putting it mildly,” I replied. (Yes, all of these DK runs have made me belligerent. It’s okay, though… he didn’t get it.) Fortunately, he was quick with the anti-magic shield there… You know, for all the magic those bats do. They wiggle their little bat fingers. Actually, this is an aside, but have you ever been turned into a bat by the Hallowed Wands and then eaten food? You get a tiny little piece of bread in your claw. It’s so cute.

But I digress. So it turns out both of these DKs were Unholy… and somehow, it was actually easier to heal the one DK than it has been to heal many of the others, so what do I know? By the time we reached Hungarfen, the other DK still hadn’t figured out who the tank was. The hunter didn’t know what the mushrooms were – he was way over on the other side of the room standing by one…and he died, I regret to report. Around this time I endeavored to calm Angryfarmhoe, letting her vent her DK frustrations in whispers.

“****ing ridiculous!” she kept saying. “DKs!” I told her I felt her pain. And then, I couldn’t help myself.

“So, Angryfarmhoe… I have to ask.”

“Sure,” she said.

“No, the name. Is that the garden tool, or a farmwife?”

“Oh LOL,” she said. “The tool”

“Yeah, I could see that, hoeing is hard work, it’d make me angry too.”

By some miracle we managed to make it past the big leviathan thing, and then it got weirder. I don’t usually post conversation screenshots because 1) let’s face it, I am lazy and 2) it’s often easier to paraphrase. However, this time the conversation can only truly be grasped by relating it in full. To clarify, when Angryfarmhoe laughed, it was because she cast water walking on a DK when we were jumping off the platform.

And when I got impatient it was because we were standing in front of the last trash pulls before the final two bosses while those guys talked about cake.

No, save one for me!

Hey, I like cake as much as the next person! At this point, I voted to kick the inactive tank, and someone else voted to kick the other inactive DK. I’m sure that wherever they are now, they got to have their cake and eat it too. I hear it had coconut. For real.

Fortunately, after they left we got another tank and DPS immediately. Two DKs, naturally. They were gnomes. Very enthusiastic gnomes. But the one tanking actually seemed to know what he was doing and spoke in complete sentences, and then Hellfire froze over. I have no screenshots to prove this.

Later in the evening when I was running my daily heroic we had a paladin healer who put Beacon on me (boomkin) and I started whispering to badger him about pally questions. He had the Hand of A’dal title. I asked him why he Beaconed me, and how does he choose who to Beacon? He said: Highest health, second highest DPS, and not hunters. He said that he doesn’t Beacon the tank in five mans because the millisecond of time it takes for the heal to “transfer” is too risky. I wonder if that’s why I was killing my tanks. That’s one paladin’s opinion, though, I’m certainly open to hearing more. Our guild’s pally tank recommended that I Glyph Beacon so that it lasts longer, to save mana, which seems like sound advice but the glyph cost 50 G on the AH and nobody was around to craft me one. 50! For a glyph! I don’t think so.

Meantime, I’ve gotten plenty of luscious OL gear with sockets I’m twinking the heck out of – and I’m so close to Northrend I can taste it! I’m very excited, and maybe it’ll be people’s long-neglected 70 alts tanking for me instead of Every Person Who Ever Wanted To Level a DK.

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32 responses to “There’s no need to fear! Underbog is here.

  1. Epic song, Vid. And yes, it’s now firmly entrenched in my head. Thanks for nothing!

    That snippet of chat is…mind-numbing. The spelling! I feel like my grasp of the english language is slipping away simply by reading that babble. That being said, I laughed at the cake talk. That one guy just goes on and on about it! And I guess “mike” wasn’t interested in plain cake so it got spiced up into cake with coconut?? Just awesome.

    And finally, with Beacon. “Not hunters?!” *sputter* Though I realize we can feign death, it still rankles to see such blatant hunter discrimination! Haha.

    • I’m sorry, Rades. You know how it is. Though, I was thinking the other day that my Draenei collection only lacks a hunter. I may retrieve the one I gave to husb and start leveling it, which means in some distant pre-Cata universe I’ll be pestering you for tips and links.

  2. I loved the Who’s the Tank video, Vid… thank you for the best laugh I’ve had today. :)

    Personally, I have not found the beacon glyph to be worth the money… but it may depend on playstyle. I’ve seen a lot of pallies do different and creative things with Beacon. I believe the thing I did with it the most in Outland was Beacon myself when I had an incompetent tank who left mobs chewing on me, while still expecting heals. Easy way to not die. I also use it that way in battlegrounds, Wintergrasp, and Faction Champs.

    I didn’t start using Beacon routinely until I got into some Wrath healing plate and my mana pool was around 10k. Until then I relied on it as an emergency tool only, combined with holy shock, for when people were taking too much damage too quickly. Usually when one of those people was me.

    Your pally healer from the 5 man who beaconed the boomkin is also smarter than the average, imo. Most pallies I’ve seen blindly beacon the tank all the time, but there are lots of situations where the tiny delay means death or near death, or the tank wasting a cooldown he could have saved if you’d chosen a direct heal instead. Don’t be afraid to put beacon somewhere else. It’s mostly overheal anyway.

    • The funniest part about this for me, Rhii, was that with all my twink gems I have about 9K mana in my Outland gear. I am unashamed. But Beacon is still a huge mana hog. It’s pretty interesting hearing all the opinions now about “who to beacon” and who not to.
      I’m glad you liked the video, it always makes me laugh. I think my favourite part is when he yells “PRIEST! PRIEST! PRIEST!”

  3. Wow. As a wee kid, I spent way too much time watching Underdog and Polly Purebread. (When Speed Racer and Starblazers weren’t on, that is.) That’s a great set of lyrics.

    I burst out laughing at your Angryfarmhoe interlude, and my wife asked me what was so funny. I looked around at the nearby kids, and told her I’d tell her later.

    It may be 50G, but that glyph is money well spent. There’s a good reason why it costs so much.

    • I have to admit that the only reason I knew the Underdog song was because it was sung a capella in an episode of Scrubs. I’m glad you had a good laugh, I have to admit I snortlaughed at Angryfarmhoe myself. I don’t know what causes people to choose some of the weirdest names, but I’m learning not to judge! I’ll still never be buddies with anyone whose name includes “vaj” though.

  4. Take heart – you do occasionally get good DK tanks in outlands – I healed my way through outlands on my pally not too long after WotLK was released and likewise had a lot of DK tanks. I had one great night where I ran three dungeons – with one tank and ended up healing Setthek Halls as a level 63. All good fun and lots of loot I couldn’t use until I leveled!

    I beacon the tank but factor in the lag time for healing – however with the smaller health pools of players without any defense rating, generally in dps gear and not knowing what they are doing
    they can drop pretty fast (and Holy Light feels very slow). Otherwise I’d also vote for the beacon yourself tactic.

    • Yeah, maybe that factoring was my biggest problem? As with anything, practice makes perfect, unfortunately in this case practice will probably result in many dead DKs! (Depending on the DK, not the worst possible outcome). I’ll probably play it safe and direct heal the tank for now, but experiment some more as I get to higher level and can run with tanks I know and trust.

  5. I did a bit of healing on my priest while leveling recently. The transition from Outlands to Northrend was pretty brutal. Normal UK with everybody still in mostly BC gear? Fun. Well, it was mostly okay except for the final boss, who has a cone attack that will just obliterate your mana pool trying to heal through when it hits most of your party because nobody knows where to stand or how to position the mob. Also the fact that you have to stop casting at various points. Painful! Though I’m an inexperienced healer so maybe that was a factor. But it really got a lot easier around 75 after I’d replaced my gear with Northrend stuff.

    • Now I’m remembering the first time I ran heroic UK as a priest and completely flubbed that last boss. He is TOUGH when you don’t have the gear to support him! I guess I’ll cross my fingers and hope for the best. Or cheat a bit and do a few quests to get gear upgrades before I dive in headlong. It’s not like Vid’s in Sunwell gear or anything, I can’t take my ability to heal these places for granted!

  6. I’m afraid you’re in for a shock Vid when you hit Northrend instances. I have noticed the trend there to be “Oh, I wears plates so I can tank even if I never done before and get into group faster lolz”. There is a lot, at least in my battlegroup, of plate DPS thinking they can tank just to beat queues.

    Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

  7. I just loved your Hand of A’dal Paladin’s short description of who gets Beacon.

    Health+DPS and not Hunters.

    I wonder why health matters? Is that because overheals don’t transfer or something?

    • Hmm, good question! I should have asked him, the instance was nearly over at that point though! It’s a good thing my husband was tanking, I kept going, “Your healer isn’t here,” – he’d be standing off in the back, no doubt answering my whispers. Multitasking as a paladin is hard! Haha. I made sure to throw a few HoTs there so I wouldn’t be the inadvertent cause of tank death. Holy pally consultation killing the tank. Such irony. :D

  8. LOL … oh the song, funny stuff!

    Very new to your blog, just found it today and already like your writing so much I’ve subscribed via Google Reader.

    @Rades, it’s crazy how bad English speakers are at their own language. Shameful I say! I like reading the infractions from Elitist Jerks because they HAMMER people about their punctuation and spelling. It’s good for a cheap laugh.

    As a healdin my whole career, I too would agree with the “don’t use beacon much in 5 mans” take. Before the dungeon finder it was a much harder task to level through vanilla WoW and BC as a healing Paladin, I was perma-frustrated till Northrend. Glyphing for Beacon I do not feel is necessary until you are raiding 25 man content in my opinion. I would agree with the others that BoL themselves if you have a tank whose having a hard time keeping aggro. Placing the Beacon on the consistent aggro puller can help a lot. I do however keep Sacred Shield up on the tank and would agree that Holy Shock is underrated as an “oh shit” saver. Another way to help your mana in 5 mans if you are the only pally in the group, use Seal of Wisdom and Judge Wisdom rather than light.

    I look forward to reading your adventures and tales of horror. I think we all love hearing these because we can all relate! ;-)

    Hassel,
    Whisperwind

    • Thanks very much, and welcome! I’m loving hearing from all kinds of full-time paladin healers about How Not To Fail. I do alternate between Light and Wisdom, especially Wisdom if I can get right up there and smack the mobs in-between heals makes an amazing difference to my mana.

  9. My sympathies on the wild and crazy Coilfang rollercoaster of ruin! My little Bear just arrived in that level range too, and I’m more and more convinced that there are two groups of people levelling through Outland right now: Experienced players with level 80 characters using an alt to escape the boredom of the raiding grind, and Death Knights.

    You can tell the first group, because they’re playing some class other than a Death Knight, and because their DPS strategy is basically to chain cast their biggest AoE nuke from the moment of the pull until everything is dead, then complain if I don’t stop to let them drink. They seem to have a tacit rule to avoid killing the target I’ve marked with a skull until the very end, because, hey, touching a skull could be bad luck. And you wouldn’t dream of waiting a few seconds for the tank to build some threat, because, “hey, that cuts into our DPS time!” I’m sorry, but at least when you’re drinking, you’re not AoE’ing. If the healer doesn’t need a break, I’m going to pull while the pulling’s good.

    Meanwhile, of course, the DKs are fighting in Frost Presence, using Death Grip on mobs not otherwise involved in the fight, and whenever possible, throwing Death & Decay into the path of mobs I’ve tried to pull to a corner by line of sight, to get rid of that pesky proximity aggro I had from pulling the first one. And if a DK uses Mind Freeze or Strangulate to interrupt a spellcaster, I can only surmise they get mocked ruthlessly at the company picnic, because they never seem to do it.

    The way things have been going, I’m feeling more and more temptation to give up on tanking and respec to Resto. Either that, or find a nice, friendly guild and never tank for random puggies ever again.

    • Oh Lara, if only I could heal your bear butt. Your assessment of Outland players is spot on, and it made me laugh out loud. Now I am thinking about what the Death Knight company picnic is like.
      “Freaking HOT POTATO again?! It gives the Frost bums an unfair advantage!”
      “You know the potato isn’t REALLY hot, right?”
      “Well still, it just isn’t right!”
      “It’s OK, you have an unfair advantage in the three-legged race, you still have two of yours.”
      “Yeah, I’m real sorry about that, xXBoneKrusherXx.”
      “It’s okay, we all have our cross to bear, right?”
      “DUDE NO CHURCHEY STUFF OK? You know it sears my ears.”
      “Oh man, I’m sorry.”
      “Let’s just go get some punch.”

      • Hahaha! I love it! Maybe the real lesson here is that I should server-transfer to something in your battle group. ;)

        (Sorry about that last post, I was reading on my husband’s computer, and I forgot to change the address)

      • Haha! If you were going to do that, then you might as well just go ahead and transfer to my server! ;) But haven’t we had this conversation? Where do you play again? I’m sorry I can’t remember!

      • Annie-bear is on Winterhoof; Big Lara lives on Cenarion Circle. But, I don’t really know anybody else on Winterhoof anymore now that my friend J no longer plays there. So, who knows? Maybe a server transfer would be fun! :)

      • I’m in the Shadowburn battlegroup, if you have friends on any of those servers! Otherwise it could be fun if you were on my server but I’d hate to have you do it and then realize I don’t play that much or play times don’t match up. A lot of my time these days ends up being raiding, which is both good and bad! Bad for my altitis.

        I wish I could gather up all of the awesome folks I’ve met via blogging and have them on one server! Which I guess is what SAN is, but I already have my guild on another server. :(

      • I totally know what you mean about play times matching up.

        Annie’s my just-for-fun, no pressure alt, the one I play when I’m tired of grubbing for Frost badges, making up more Fish Feasts for the weekly raid, doing crafting work, and those kinds end-game necessities. And besides, one can never have too many Druids, right? :)

        I guess in part, I’m just feeling the pinch of not having any “community” for her. It’s nice being on an isolated server, because I’m free of any obligation to “level up and raid,” but after a while, the pugs do grind you down, as you’ve obviously experienced yourself!

    • They seem to have a tacit rule to avoid killing the target I’ve marked with a skull until the very end, because, hey, touching a skull could be bad luck.

      Heh, I must be doing it wrong, then, as I obey whatever marking the tank puts down. ;-)

      • See, of course all of the people commenting here are the awesome, great-run facilitating types! It’s all those other people we gripe about. I’m not surprised. :D

  10. Wow. My brain hurts. Mike cake? I don’t even.

    On the plus side, this makes me feel a bit more confident about my tanking abilities on my warrior. At least I know I’m the tank and when an instance is over or not!

  11. @Lara I am leveling a mage currently precisely falling into one of your two groups! lol I admit I am an AoE whore, but with rules. One, if the tank marks a skull, single target skull, then AoE the rest. If no mob is marked, AoE once the tank has established aggro and it’s safe to do so. I rarely pull aggro if I just give the take time to get situated. I hope these are good rules to go by and maybe if we keep spreading the point about holding AoE until the tank has all the mobs he/she is trying to LoS, all AoE users need to use a threat meter to watch the threat they are generating, and that SINGLE TARGETING is not a sin! Another faux pas I see a lot is how all the dps is attacking a different target. I guess they think that skull over the mobs head is just for aesthetics. /facepalm

    Hassel
    Whisperwind

    • Oh, Hassel, I’m not saying AoE is bad. You sound like a delightful sort of Mage, and the very fact that you recognize a skull when it’s marked and wait for the tank to establish threat proves that! AoE is fun, the only problem is when the Blizzard + Volley + Death & Decay + Rain of Fire is going off as the tank is making the pull!

      It wouldn’t be so bad, if they could just wait a few seconds, honestly. :)

      • I have a tank and a mage. When playing my mage I totally wait for the tank to at least get some AoE threat off (Thunder Clap, etc) before dropping the spam of Blizzard across the enemy mobs.

        But the big thing I do is adjust how I play depending on how good the tank is. If the tank struggles to hold aggro on a group I then start Frostbolting his target and when the second Thunder Clap goes off I let loose with Blizzard.

        Pretty easy really but surprising how many players never factor in a tanks threat…

  12. I, to use Vid’s term, snortlol’d when I read the name Annie Bear … I have a friend who lives up in Michigan whose name is Ann. She hates to be called Annie and I am the only one that gets away with it, I have called her Anniebear for as long as I can remember! lol It’s a small world … but I wouldn’t want to paint it. I think I will call her and see how she has been lately, you never know what will trigger nostalgia.

  13. Personally, I do usually Beacon the tank EXCEPT when it’s more advantageous to beacon myself (due to that millisecond of transfer) but then again, I’m 80. I can’t remember what I did around level 70. In 10-mans, depending on lag, I might Beacon the OT and heal the tank. But everyone does it differently and they all seem to work. :)

    Also, one of your commenters above said overheals do not transfer but that is incorrect. They DO now transfer.

    And at 80 I do have the glyph of Beacon. It saves you a global cooldown like every 3 minutes or something. Can be useful since Beacon is still mana intensive. :D

  14. Pingback: The Odyssey « Pugging Pally

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