The Odyssey

Once upon a time, there was a young paladin. She followed in the footsteps of previous paladins – ghosts of paladins who never made it past level twenty; deleted, forgotten. But such paladins had existed before the miraculous wonder of the Looking for Dungeon tool! This paladin could be a healing paladin. It would be convenient for her. After all, she had a healing spell, didn’t she? The day was December 11th. At level seventeen, she rolled up to her first instance, bright and shiny with heirlooms and all ready to employ her single healing spell. She wended her way through Wailing Caverns, and left some bodies in Deadmines.

Taking Gnomeregan by storm.

She remembered that she probably ought to have some glyphs for doing this, and met her first LFD jerk. “Because I’m the tank,” he said, “and I can do whatever I want, that’s what being the tank means!” (No wonder you all want me to try it…) This paladin killed some wolves, and some prisoners, and just a few irradiated gnomes. Some people wondered why she would level the way that she was leveling, and she had some answers for them.

She did it because she likes people, amazingly (yes, even still!); because she wanted to level an alt differently than all her other alts before. Soon her mission to do so found her healing Scarlet Monastery Graveyard, unfortunately, she did this forever. No, really, she’s still there. A part of her is still there, anyhow.

She met the world’s most foolhardy mage. Who attacks with an AoE fire spell in a library? Come on now. “You shall not defile these mysteries,” no worries there, buddy, you’re going to send them up in flames first! Reckless shenanigans, I tell you.

I think she's going for a Wonder Woman look.

This paladin started to keep track of her beverages. Unfortunately, running with tanks not wearing pants continued to drive her to drink, if you know what I mean. Her ultimate average ended up being about 8.9 beverages per instance, for a total of 1345 drinks on the way to 80. That’s a lot of rest rooms, that’s all I’m saying.

At this point, before level forty, the paladin had already begun to consider some of the drawbacks of exclusive LFD leveling. They definitely exist. It wasn’t until she obtained a fast mount and Crusader aura that she picked up many common flight points. When she did reach level forty, she confused the Scarlet Monastery lady not wearing pants with Noth, and ruminated about how other plate wearers got to wear plate when they hit forty. This paladin wore very little plate until she went to Outlands – which was still an improvement over wearing very little, believe me.

She was afflicted with an uncommon amount of warlocks at one time. (Har, you see what I did there?) Then her queue times began to add up, and she started to wonder if she’d chosen the right path. While wondering this, she wiped a group in Maraudon. She also learned how to spell “Maraudon.” (It’s Mare-au-don, that’s how I remember it, which isn’t actually the correct way to say it but it definitely starts with Mara.) By the time she’d figured out how to spell Maraudon, she was already doing Sunken Temple, trying to coordinate Blessings with other paladins, and trying to convince groups to kill Hakkar.

At some point, the paladin fell off the pug wagon. I had to stop here a moment and picture what ‘the pug wagon’ might look like, driven by hunters wearing greens they needed on (cloth, naturally), death knights death gripping elite mobs towards them, tanks without shields, with eighty warlocks crammed in the back, all life-tapping, while a mage Blizzards before the tanks have touched the mob. It made my hand shake a little.

Conveniently, it's not just Dwarven sized.

Amazingly enough, Blackrock Depths is enough to get aforementioned paladin back on this (shudder) pug wagon. She went, saw, conquered, and stole Dagran’s pants. She tried to be a Jenkins and failed, utterly and completely.

But wait, what’s this? It’s time to go to the Outlands? Our intrepid paladin had her first encounter with Hellfire Ramparts and Death Knights, and it left her speechless.

At least somewhere along the way, though, she figured out that her underwear goes under the pants. She also had more to say about Outlands, death knights, Hellfire, and hunters named Criticalsnot.

Oh, the shame.

Underbog was visited. Just a few times, amid confusion about who is the tank. A healing paladin just isn’t the same without a tank to call her own, and our paladin took some time to think about the relationship between tanks and healers. Fortunately that story had a happy ending, just at a time when the healing paladin was feeling least puggy, she found that a friend can make all the difference.

A paladin gets her wings, and meets a flirtatious death knight. She begins to pug through Northrend, finally, finally getting to wear actual plate. Along the way, a funny thing happens, a thing she hasn’t yet set down in words. Pugs begin to grow more competent. Less hilarity ensues. When she finally hits 80, it is with a mixed feeling of elation and disappointment. A whimper rather than a bang, even. Does the journey end here? Will she have nothing further to say? She thinks she’ll take a few days to mull it over, because surely the completion of any epic quest requires a suitably epic account. In the end, this account will have to do instead.

Pugging Pally By The Numbers

Time played – 8 days, 2 hours, 22 minutes, 10 seconds

Mana potions consumed – 65 (Most used: Lesser Mana Potion at 22)

Beverages consumed – 1345, wow, that’s a lot of water. Most of it was Filtered Draenic water (256). Apparently Outlands gave me mana trouble as my gear adjusted to the demands of new tiers of instances.

Food eaten – 48, food eaten most, Conjured Mana Biscuit. This paladin doesn’t eat unless it’s FREE, y’hear? Or unless I need to make space in my bag and have one singular talbuk steak or something.

Healthstones used – One lousy healthstone, thanks for nothing, pug warlocks!

Greed rolls made on loot – 488, this is for loot I sort of wanted but didn’t want to actually prevent anyone else from having if they wanted it.

Need rolls made on loot – 74 times I thought, “MINE!” (Probably not).
Disenchant rolls made on loot - 332, I guess leveling enchanting paid off after all.
Creatures killed – 23723, I have no basis for comparison, but it seems like quite a lot. 10,048 of them were humanoid, the most killed type.

Critters killed in the making of this blog – 557

Paladins killed in the making of this blog – 42

Total raid and dungeon deaths – 36, I’ll leave the missing six deaths up to your imagination, except to say that I can’t blame them on a pugger.

Total deaths to Lich King dungeon bosses – 1, it was Dalronn the Controller, which is actually pretty amazing when you think about it. Of the 36 times I died in an instance, only one occured in the Wrath instances. There`s a strong argument for increasing group competence, or else it’s my increasing competence.

Resurrected by soulstones – 1, probably the same warlock who gave me a healthstone…

Redeemed by paladins – 4

Revived by druids – 1, never rebirthed, incidentally.

Total 5-player dungeons entered – 151. This number is accurate, but also misleading at least as far as Wrath is concerned. I ended up questing quite a bit towards the end.

Lich King 5-player dungeons completed (final boss killed) – 39

Lich King 5-player bosses killed - 144

Lich King 5-player different bosses killed – 44

Lich King 5-player boss killed the most – Krik’thir the Gatewatcher (8)

Flight paths taken – 152, this seems low to me compared to other characters but I could be wrong.

Summons accepted – 1. The summoning stone is dead for LFD groups, why would you need it?

Mage Portals taken – 1, and it was a portal straight to Dalaran, baby. I’ve hearthed back there 85 times since.

Number of hugs – 3, you’d think with all of the pugging I would have needed more.

Total times LOL’d – 4, see above.

Total cheers – 34, I’m willing to bet almost every one of these was someone in an instance dinging, and I cheered at them instead of actually typing out “Congratulations,” because I’m a jerk.

Total waves – 6, I like to wave at bosses sometimes.

In conclusion, this is not the conclusion of Pugging Pally, however it may seem less aptly named from hereon. I’d appreciate if you’d all bear with me while I figure out what I’ll be writing about now, because I’m fairly certain there’s no danger of my shutting up any time soon.

I want to thank everyone who commented here to commiserate, help me find resources, and/or laugh at my expense during this adventure. I never thought people would actually read this, but amazingly you do. I have also to thank all of the awesome bloggers who linked to and encouraged me as I was starting out. The WoW blogging community is an incredibly warm and generous one; you’re all a huge part of what makes this so addictive and awesome to be a part of.

Other than that, I have one thing left to say today, okay, two:

A paladin reaches 80 in Halls of Stone, after running Halls of Stone, Oculus, Halls of Stone, in a spectacularly appropriate "crappy instance sandwich."

Now THAT'S a paladin! What do you mean, my sword has hit on it? Shaddap! No more wiener forks!

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35 responses to “The Odyssey

  1. Congratulation on the epic saga!

    I followed it with great interest since level 22/23 or so.

    Now for the 2nd part of the WoW-game… Gearing up!

    Enjoy!

  2. Congrats! I look forward to your next project!

  3. OMG no more weiner forks!! I don’t even recognize you anymore! ;) Great job on the awesome journey, it has been fun to read and follow Vid through her adventures (and misadventures…). You have to keep writing though! Not allowed to quit!

  4. The end of one chapter, but the beginning of a new one. Congratulations on hitting 80, can’t wait to read what’s next for your pally/other toons!

  5. Congratulations :) It’s been a long, strange tr… oh wait.

  6. Congrats! :D It’s been fun following!

  7. Congratulations! You finally made it! Hope there is more :) as someone put it above me, you’re not allowed to quit writing!

  8. They grow up so fast… ::sniff::

    What nobody has told you is that now the groups stop being competent, and start rushing through. At least since you’re the healer you won’t have to listen to a Tree yelling “gogogogogogogo!” ;-)

    Summons accepted – 1. The summoning stone is dead for LFD groups, why would you need it?

    The great thing about summoning stones is that they tell you “Hey! Here’s where the entrance is!” to those of us who are going back and soloing the instances we missed on the way to 80.

    Total cheers – 34, I’m willing to bet almost every one of these was someone in an instance dinging, and I cheered at them instead of actually typing out “Congratulations,” because I’m a jerk.

    You know, I’ve learned to accept the cheers and congrats of others in the game. At first whenever I got a cheer for leveling or something I’d think “It’s just a level; I’ve got only 65 more of them to go, you know.” But after a while, I’ve just come to accept that people genuinely enjoy patting their fellow, um, puggites on the back.

    Oh, and about that ‘no pants on tanks’ thing, I’ve noticed the disproportionate number of toons on A-52 and Stormscale that do that are female. (Same thing with not wearing a shirt, either.) I’m not sure why, because I presume a good portion of them are also owned by women, but after a while I just shrugged and moved on.

  9. Yay! Congrats Vid! I’ve been reading your blog since you were a wee pally in your teens (I think). It’s been fun reading about your (mis)adventures and I’m only mildly surprised you didn’t come out the other end a raving lunatic. :)

  10. Congrats! We’ve really enjoyed following your blog, I hope you continue to write. :)

  11. Pingback: Tweets that mention The Odyssey « Pugging Pally -- Topsy.com

  12. Awesomesauce! Congrats on becoming a big girl Pally. I once had a friend in game who enjoyed leveling and once she hit 60 (the cap at the time), she was done. Even deleted the toon. But for me, leveling is part of the journey. The other part, as Dracomage said, is gearing up. I enjoy plundering Heroics and raids to better my toon and be all I can be.

    Whatever you write, I’ll be sure to read it.

  13. Congratulations, well deserved.
    This was very entertaining to read, so please don’t stop :)

  14. Gah, sadness.

    Reminder: you can pug raids now. And heroics. And write about those.

    Please?

  15. Woohoo! Well done on reaching 80! Thanks for describing your journey; it’s been wonderfully entertaining. The number of times I’ve had to bite my hand so my boss wouldn’t hear me ROFL as I checked your latest post in a quiet moment.

    You are going to play the 80 game, right? Chapter 2 of Vid’s story? Maybe even chapter 3 post-Cataclysm? I hope so anyway.

    Have fun and best wishes.

  16. Congratulations! I second the commenter above who asked you to keep going on the pugging and the describing thereof, because it’s been fun riding with you all the way up to 80!

  17. Congratulations!

    You really should keep up the pugging and posting about it. It has honestly been one of the best parts of my day, reading your posts.

    Besides, I’m sure you’ll have plenty of things to write about from heroics now. :P

  18. Congratulations, Vidyala!

    I hope you keep up with the pugging because it’s been a blast (and source of inspiration) to read this. I also hope that you’ll now feel more able to open up the blog to other things you feel like writing about, because I think you have a meaningful voice to add there as well.

  19. Rochmoninoff

    Grats on 80.
    Thanks for the helpful tip on BoA gear’s experience buff – I assumed that since the gear stops “leveling up” at 70 that it would also cease buffing experience.

    • Actually, the Heirloom gear doesn’t stop “levelling up” at 70, either! I’ve read some blue posts that suggested they won’t work above level 80, even once the level cap is raised in Cataclysm — but for now, they’re good for the whole journey!

      (Perhaps you were thinking about the recruit-a-friend triple-experience bonus, which does stop at level 60?)

      The Heirloom gear is scales itself to be approximately equivalent to a Rare (blue) quality item from a level-appropriate Normal instance boss; the only trouble at with it at level 80 is that everyone else is wearing gear anywhere from thirty to sixty item levels higher (more, in some cases!). So, it doesn’t stack up nearly as well as you might hope for a freshly-minted level 80 character!

  20. Lifedeathsoul

    Congrats!!! :D It’s been fun reading your blog too :) looking forward to more adventures from you as well :)

  21. /cheer Vid

    It has been great sharing your experiences and I look forward to more.

    And you have Seethe already? Although you can almost guarantee that or papa’s new knife will drop from H FoS. I keep having to double check why I have some hit as well (especially since I’ve switched out of ret so use Tuskar’s Vitality on my boots)… one day I’ll get a healing weapon without hit too.

  22. Congratulations!

    /confetti

    Thanks for sharing all the “final stats” – those are always interesting to see :>

    Can’t wait to read what comes next!

  23. Enjoy that hit-having sword… you’ll have it forever unless you’re much much luckier than I am. :P

    My main is still sporting that hit-having sword after about 17 runs of toc10 looking for the healer mace. She’s in half ICC10 gear, and still is using that blasted dps sword.

    Heh, congratulations, and try to disregard the bitterness.

  24. /cheer (aka Congratulations)

    Is dinging 80 in Halls of Stone is a bit like being rained on on your wedding day? Man I hate that instance.

    Now do it all again without ANY QUESTING. Just kidding.

  25. Many congratulations on making it this far! You’re going to be an awesome healer with all this experience under your belt, and I am sure you will find a new weapon soon. ^_^

    My Pally’s currently 72 (Hard Mode raiding means less time for alts) but I think I am going to try and make it in a few weeks too.

    Great read!

  26. @Rhii – I’d argue that Seethe is better than Argent Resolve (Mace of the Earthborn Chieftan for Horde). More int instead of some mp5, haste instead of crit plus more chance of your Judgements landing :) But then again I’ve been craving haste over crit for a while now.

    Just glare back at those people who hassle you about using a dps weapon – it probably means they are using Elitist Group… which is an improvement over Gearscore – but still requires some thought

  27. Chapter II: The Puggin’ Goblin Tank :)

    That was one long, strange(ly funny) trip- I can’t wait to see where it goes from here!

  28. @gameldar I’m a horrible pally nonconformist, I don’t stack int to the exclusion of all else. In fact, I don’t stack int at all. I find healing 10 mans exclusively that I can’t be a “tank healer” in the sense that I don’t do anything else because there aren’t enough healers to cover the raid without me, and therefore having more spellpower, and bigger flashes lets me spot raid heal while tank healing more easily, and contributes to having a live raid. ;)

    So for me, seethe is the pits. I want spellpower and mp5 over int (although I do love me some haste).

  29. @Rhii I’m not an exclusive int stacker – in actual fact the last decision I made in terms of gear was to choose haste over int in terms of the H HoR chest instead of the tier 9 piece… with haste food and Embrace of the Spider proccing I’m finally below 1s flash of lights… so I’m still not quite there as I’m still relying on procs! But I’ve been finding the increased haste valuable for raid healing while keeping the tank up with beacon!

    In actual fact I made a slight miscalculation – I was assuming the int was equivalent to the mp5 but it is only about half as effective for regen. Which meant that it was a crit versus haste decision – of which I prefer my haste at present!

    But we are forgetting the most important stat difference between the two 0f the sword does more melee dps! I kid… it’s the extra stamina that makes it rock! Hmmm maybe that is my tank spec talking…

    • I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a bit of mp5 on Holy paladin gear, but I also believe Intellect is a lot more valuable point for point, even in 10-player raiding situations. Intellect is increased by the Arcane Intellect (or Fel Intellect) buff, plus 10% from Divine Intellect, and 10% again from Blessing of Kings. Intellect also increases your chance to roll a critical heal, which gives you back 30% of the mana cost of the heal because of your Illumination talent.

      I think most raiding groups will have at least one player providing Replenishment, so you can expect to be getting 1% of your maximum mana per five seconds, since Replenishment is generally up almost all the time even in a 10-player group.

      A single point of mp5 will give you more direct regeneration than a point of Intellect — 1 mp5 as compared to 0.18 mp5. On the other hand, I kind of think the bigger question is, “how often can you cast Holy Light before you run out of mana?” At level 80, Holy Light costs 1274 mana (29% of your base mana, which is 4394 for a level 80 paladin), and if you assume your Holy Light takes something like 1.3 to 1.4 seconds to cast (which is about what I’d expect in a raid setting), you could be spending something upward of 4550 mp5 on Holy Light alone.

      If you’ve got enough Intellect to have a typical 38-40k mana pool, you’ll see 380-400 mp5 from Replenishment. If you swap Intellect point-for-point with enough mp5 to cover, say, 380 mp5, you’d lose more than 6800 mana, or about five Holy Light casts. (And even with the buff to mp5 a few patches ago, mp5 costs about twice as many item points as Intellect, so making a swap like that might cost as much as twice those figures if you had to do it using real gear!) A Holy Light crit gives you back 382.2 mana from Illumination, and 380 Intellect is worth about 2.28% spell crit chance.

      Anyway, as I said, I don’t think it’s bad to get some mp5 on your gear, but my feeling is that Intellect is far and away the single most valuable thing a Holy paladin can have on her gear right now, followed closely by haste. :) I don’t think it’s merely a matter of style — it’s just that good!

  30. Thank you Vid for all the wonderful and funny stories about your adventures on your long trek to the big eight-oh!! I really enjoyed reading every bit of them and hope your blogging days are far from over.

  31. Congratulations! Your epic journey inspired me to level up my warrior in instances, at least to 60. As I crawl towards 80 there have been more and more quests. But tanking all of those vanilla instances I’d never seen was very fun!

  32. First of all, ty for the great blog, been following for the past couple of weeks. Really enjoy your writing style and the observations of the pugs and it’s foibles :). Been levelling a tank, with girlfriend healing in lfd and have expierienced pretty much the same situations and quicky people in pugs. Sad that it’s over, but congrats on the 80. Looking forward to your next project!

  33. Yaaay congratulations!

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