As Bad As Three-Week Old Tuna Casserole

Vidyala reached another milestone yesterday. Well, it was “yesterday” when I first wrote this, but it’s no longer yesterday. Still, look! For non-paladin people, this screenshot is like secret paladin code for “I am now level 70.”

Every time a pug tank lets a healer drink, an angel gets its wings.

I don’t know why I always seem to end up taking screenshots of her in Ironforge. It’s where I do most of my banking, and my capital city of choice to go to when I need to. Which is nearly never, as she’s an engineer. I honestly just found the engineering AH a few days ago. I had reached Northrend level engineering, and thought, “There’s an engineering trainer in Dalaran! I can just go there.” I clicked on the wrong NPC, and my jaw dropped, literally, as the happy “Ding!” sound of the auction house greeted my ears. I may or may not have turned to my husband and said, “*!&@^@^ there’s a !^!&%!% auction house for engineers in Dalaran,” so great was my surprise and delight.

I have begun Northrend pugging in earnest, quite a bit with my trusty bear, and a little bit on my own. I realized that if I didn’t run some pugs without the “safety net” I might well never do it again. But I was a little afraid. Because you see, we went to Utgarde Keep. And the trash was tough. Everyone was taking a ton of damage, a situation that tends to chill me. “So many people are taking damage!” quickly translates in my mind to “someone is going to die very soon.” In this case I was sort of right – Lara died as we faced Yngvar (a.k.a Mr. Pathetic Failure). All the times we’ve run UK, this has happened.

I’ve found that it’s hard to adapt to the new gear requirements of an expansion without doing a bit of questing to augment. The pre-quests and quests for Nexus have yielded some rather nice returns. I can sense level 80 on the horizon and I am heading for it as quickly as possible! Now my gear is adequate to the instances and I’ve gotten some upgrades inside, as well. We ran Nexus with an extremely oblivious rogue, and a DK who had his eye on my wiener forks, people.

Because Blizz, in their infinite wisdom, won’t let me roll on spellpower mail – even when there’s nobody in the party who would use it, the rogue won some gloves from a boss in Nexus. I lamented that I couldn’t “Need” on them, politely: “Gee, it’s a shame that it doesn’t let me roll on those, I would wear them.” Someone else in the party said, “Oh, that sucks, I would usually hand them over though.” Nothing from the rogue. I said, “Well, that would be nice but it’s entirely up to so-and-so, he’s not obligated.” Which is actually true. Usually polite social pressure works in this scenario, but the rogue was blissfully oblivious. Later on one of the other bosses dropped a fist weapon, and I said (without a hint of sarcasm), “Oh great! I’m glad you got some gear YOU CAN USE.” (OK, so there were no capitals. But still). He said, “Me too.”

Meantime, this Death Knight, wow. I didn’t realize they handed out “Picking up chicks 101″ to Death Knights, because he was a regular Casanova. The conversation (whispered) went something like this:

“Do u work for Blizz?”
“Umm, nope! Why?”
“Ur so polite and nice”
“Not really, I’m Canadian.”
“Oh yah is it cold up there?”
“Not really, the weather’s been really nice, around 50 F.”
“It’s 85 F here in [thisstate] really hot! I like it here I’m originally from [otherstate] though”
(Me, not responding, thinking we could just let this die)
“Love the Canadian accent, BTW”
(Further not responding: and why would he say that? He can’t actually HEAR me typing.)
“Can I keep running with you guys? You and Ann, ur so nice”
“I think we’re finished after this one, sorry.”
(Then finally, at the end)
“I hope I run into you again, ur a really great and nice player!”

Well thanks, DK. U seem nice yourself. A little too nice. I, on the other hand, am probably not as nice as I may otherwise appear. The shadow priest in the same group found this out to his detriment, as he started telling us How To Nexus as we ran into Keri’s room.

“So you have to move when you are taking damage,” he tells the group at large. Nobody really says much. I’ve run this instance so many times. He makes a point of saying it again, but this time he’s pointing it at me. “You have to move when you take damage, Heals,” he says. Yes, heals. “Really?” I type back furiously. “Because I’ve never been here before, I’m glad you knew.”

We finish off Keri with no problems. A funny thing about that damaging aura, though… it persists after she’s actually dead. The shadow priest has taken a lot of damage. Somehow… I’m just not quick enough with the Flash of Light. “You have to move when you take damage,” I tell his corpse helpfully. “I was healing someone else,” he says, sullen. I tell him it’s very nice of him to keep an eye on other people’s health like that. I haven’t quite got the hang of it yet, myself.

When I had time to pug later and Ann wasn’t around, I queued up. I picked Azjol-Nerub specifically because I really wanted to get it done (plus it had loot I had my eye on). I must have the stupidest luck ever, because of the things that Kaliban’s Loot List says are to be found for me in AN – both dropped. A BoE necklace, and the plate healing gloves from the first boss. The group was really nice and let me have the BoE (promptly equipped, replacing my Sethekk Halls quest necklace). The tank was quirky, interesting, and I think doped up on some really powerful cough meds. A few pulls into the instance she says in party, “So, my mage friend and I just wanted to tell you that you are way better than the pally healer that we had earlier today.”
“Thanks,” I respond, “Bad?”

Bad as three-week old tuna casserole!” she says. I can tell this run is going to be fun. And it is, the tank and the mage are joking as we go, my new Northrend gear is proving its worth and healing the place is fine. Interesting, but fine. That’s my happiest instance run zone – people taking enough damage that I need to heal them and I don’t feel like “Why am I here again?” but not so much damage that it’s always a razor’s edge decision as to whether they will live or die. I have something ridiculous like 15K mana now (I know, it’s only the beginning, but for a level 73? I think, not bad.) I ended up running three instances with that group. Azjol-Nerub once, and randomly we drew Utgarde Keep twice. By the end the tank was falling asleep. I told her during the first UK run, that I didn’t want to alarm her but there was this thing that had been happening where I keep killing my tank at Yngvar. “That’s not going to happen,” she replied, and she was actually right. I still don’t
like the fight, but it’s okay now.

The only other thing of note was that I let a moonkin die. I know. My stories seem to have a lot of “I let so and so” die. The thing is, we ran Utgarde Keep twice. The first time, we get to the first narrow, crowded corridor. It is a perfect place, one might think, for a large-radius AoE spell that isn’t targeted. Wait, actually it isn’t a great place for that spell. Nonetheless, the bane of tanks and healers everywhere, and I’m guilty of it myself – Starfall. Also known as “HEY GAIZ I’M HERE CASTING SOME SPELLS COME EAT MY FACE.”

I threw Hand of Protection and beaconed him, healed the tank as she picked up aggro, and he lived, it was all good. So when that instance was done and we queued again and get UK, I wondered – is he going to do the same thing? We run up into the corridor, and sure enough, I see those tell-tale stars. I throw him some heals, initially, giving the tank a chance to pick up the mobs, but her cough medicine is kicking in and she’s a bit slower. He had a ton of things pounding on him and I just let it go. The tank was actually upset, “Was that me? What happened?” she said.

The moonkin, to his credit, owned up right away. “No it was my fault,” he said, and I added, “He is learning that Starfall is both his best friend and worst enemy…” I look at it this way philosophically. It’s better for him to die once in UK when he’s level 71 and maybe pay more attention to when he pops his massive AoE aggro-fest, than for healers to aid and abet that kind of behaviour and have him dying the entire way. Hey, I play a DPS, I know how it is! Why, I know a moonkin who once cast Starfall in the middle of the crowded room before Loken. What moonkin would be so foolhardy, you may wonder? I’ll never tell. Let’s just say I’m aware that my DPSing may come with a healthy dose of death, and almost all of the time it’s well-deserved on my part.

The other thing I wanted to mention was how marked the difference is between: XP gained in Burning Crusade and Classic dungeons versus Northrend dungeons. It’s really not very good. Three instance runs yielded something like eight bars of XP (or less than half a level, if you want to get technical, which I clearly don’t). So there’s another big reason why the “pugging pally” has become the “puquesting pally,” because I want this character to be eighty sometime in the next few weeks. She’s already over four months old. I intend to talk more about the leveling experience once I hit the big 8-0. But for now, I leave you with an image, and a quote from one of our newest guildies. He said, “Your blog makes me want to level an alt! …But not like that.”

The goggles! They do everything! Including gather an army of baby murlocs for me.

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21 responses to “As Bad As Three-Week Old Tuna Casserole

  1. The engineering trainer in Dalaran is the best thing ever! I seriously contemplate taking engineering on all my characters just for that luxury. Also, about once a week I forget and run in there as a non-engineer character only to be coldly rebuffed by the robot engineer, and then slink off in shame and jeers from the Cool Goggle-Wearing Kids to a lowly AZEROTH city to do my auctioning.

    My first time running as Boomkin was in Old Kingdom. Guess when Starfall came off cooldown? Right at the start of the big open room after the vampire dude…you know, otherwise known as The Worst Pathing Patrols and Groups Ever. Guess how that ended? -_-

  2. I was laughing about the DK pickup artist, not because of anything my main has gone through, but -of all people- my bank alt has had to endure.

    He’s a standard, run-of-the-mill, Male Blood Elf Rogue. Create him, move him to Silvermoon, have him take up residence next to one of the AHs.

    No big deal, right?

    As soon as he’s created, I start getting wolf whistles from nearby toons. Then a BE Mage wanders up, and she emotes “[so-and-so] checks you out.”

    (Yes, A-52 is a Regular PVE server, not an RP one.)

    On the road to Silvermoon, I’m followed by another BE Mage, and she’s emoting similar stuff along the way. Ever since he’s taken up residence, I will still occasionally get the wolf whistle from a passing character. I mean, what is it with Rogues, anyway?

  3. In a fit of procrastination, this morning, I went back and pugged A-N for the quests. This time, we had good dps, and they weren’t pulling for me. Nobody even stood in Pound on Anub’arak! (“Azjol-Nerub was merely a setback-k-k-k!”)

    It was definitely a big improvement over our abortive first round. :)

  4. Grats on 70 and getting wings!

    There is something about Yngvar and trying to get through it the first few times. My warrior tank routinely dies and, if it’s not her licking the floor afterwards, it is the healer.

    Here’s hoping the rest of your journey is full of good tanks and non-stupid dps! You’re almost there!

  5. I was just wondering though … whats the big rush to get to 80? I have always wondered why people feel this need to get to 80 as fast as possible. Does the trip not interest you at all? Guess I’m just one of those that can’t help immersing myself in as much of WoW as I can. Hell I’ve even started a blog last week about me and all my alts hehe

    • Considering I made the character last December and I leveled her in what can only be called the Slowest Way Ever, I’m probably not in that much of a rush. ;) But now that I’m close, I’d like to do some end-game content with her. I’m all about smelling the flowers.

    • I’m with Vid on this one — I originally made Annie over a year ago, so she’s certainly not on any kind of a fast track! But the end is in sight, and there’s a lot of fun in getting a new alt to 80. Everything is an upgrade! Heroics are a challenge again! You need badges for something besides epic gems!

      The trip is definitely enjoyable (most of the time), but arriving is exciting! :)

  6. Nice blog :) I am actually doing something similar, though, I didn’t LFD from 1-60, because back then, LFD didn’t exist. I haven’t played my druid in three years, and have recently decided to start leveling her again — with JUST healing in the LFD tool. (From 60+)

    It’s definitely interesting, and I am quite enjoying it… when I have a tank that actually knows what the heck they’re doing, that is — but unfortunately, as you said, usually tanks are people who queue up as tanks because they want a fast queue time, not because they know what they’re doing.

    Definitely gonna bookmark your blog and check on your progress. It is nice to be able to level at a slower pace and just have fun with it.

  7. Kalaban’s loot list!
    What a great site.
    Can’t believe I’d never heard of that till now.
    I’m in “alt heaven”.

    PS: one of the things I like about your blog is how you never shy away from the wall of text. When you get to 80 is that the end of “pugging pally” or will you continue to entertain us?

    • Haha Roch. Thank you for appreciating what I think is actually a tendency to be a windbag. Even when I set out to write a shorter post (and I’ve tried) it always ends up being… well, wall of text.

      Hitting 80 will definitely not be the end of pugging pally! I’ve really enjoyed writing here, I’ll just have to make a transition into writing about other WoW-related things. Suggestions are absolutely welcome!

  8. You did WHAT? Tell me that it’s not true. That’s one of the things you just can’t do… let a Moonkin die… They are cute and cuddly… you just can’t let a Moonkin die… :’-(

    http://danismuffins.deviantart.com/art/Moonkin-Comic-Go-146345352

  9. I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while now, wondering if I should re-visit holy pally healing. I tried to heal twice once my pally hit 80, and both attempts were so awful. I felt like I was frantically mashing keys, trying to keep people alive.

    Do you have any advice for a pally wanting to give it another shot? :D

    • Hey! Well, with a few caveats 1) I am absolutely no expert, far from it. I am extremely new to the way of the holy paladin, but I’ve done some reading. If you want to try it again, by all means… Do you have a tank and people to run with that you trust? I wouldn’t recommend diving right into a pug in a new spec. One thing about holy paladins, and I can’t compare this yet to raid experience – is that in a lot of ways, healing five-mans is actually harder. Whack-a-mole healing is quite a different feeling than the HoTs of a druid or the mitigation of disc priest or nice AoE heals from a holy priest or shaman. It’s quite outside my own experience, until I made Vid. 4 Haelz wrote a post recently about going from being a resto druid to a holy paladin that I thought touched on many of the strengths and unique qualities, you can read it here: http://4haelz.blogspot.com/2010/04/from-leaves-to-light.html
      You might also read Ferraro’s guide “how to level as holy,” I didn’t find it until it was reasonably moot but it gives a good overview of the tools of the trade and how they fit into the toolbox. http://ferarro.blogspot.com/2009/01/how-to-holy.html
      Finally, there’s also a five man specific healing guide that goes into crazy amounts of detail. http://ferarro.blogspot.com/2009/02/how-to-healing-5-mans.html

      So having bombarded you with an incredible amount of reading, more than anything I’d say go in with an attitude that you aren’t afraid to fail and goof up a little, and have a sense of humour. :) At the very worst you could try Holy PvP in a big BG where you won’t get yelled at when people die, people expect to die in PvP. Being a holy pally is all about the reflexes from what I’ve seen. And let me know how it goes! :D

  10. To hell with polite social pressure, I’d have asked him straight out, “Can I get those gloves so I can use them?” What’s he going to say, “NO I WANT TO VENDOR THEM”? That type seems to do better with direct statements rather than subtleties that go right over their heads.

    Also, I find those guys who try to troll WoW looking for a girl to pick up a tad creepy. And sad.

  11. I am a big proponent of lesson-teaching. People need to learn sometime and as you said, better he learns now when he can actually see that it matters and fix it before he’s 80.

    Good habits need to be built.

    Semi-related RL example you can ignore if you want: I used to teach swimming lessons – one summer I was teaching kids about 7 years old at level 2, which is where you need to learn to float and put your face in the water and practice breathing to the side. I had one kid who just COULD. NOT. FLOAT. to save his life (ha, pun). I worked one on one with him quite a lot, but he just couldn’t do it on his own – he wasn’t comfortable doing it. So, since he couldn’t float, I couldn’t “pass” him so he could take level 3 next year.

    At the end of the courses, his mother asked me why I didn’t pass him. “He won’t be with his friends! He tried, isn’t that enough?” Well, no. If he can’t float, then his next teacher will have to devote extra time trying to get him what he needed to know before and would be ignoring the other kids – those kids in his new class wouldn’t be able to learn what they were ready to know.

    You need to get the basics first. Learning is important.

    *steps off soapbox*

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