Tag Archives: axe to the face

Gallery

Tuesday Art Day: Haz Mace, Will Raid

This gallery contains 12 photos.

I’ve been trying to expand the range of WordPress options that I’m using, specifically when it comes to displaying images and any other media. For the Well-Dressed Paladin contest I thought the gallery display was rather successful. It was nice … Continue reading

These pugs aren’t house-trained.

perky pug

Aw, isn't he cute?

I’m actually a fairly easy-going person. In all the time I spent pugging with Vidyala on her way to eighty, I really didn’t meet very many people that made me angry. Oh, I met some jerks, and it’s pretty well-documented here when I did, but not too many.

Things have changed since the only pugging scene I see is the eighty heroic one, and it’s getting pretty tiresome. A few recent examples, just to illustrate my point:

The scene: Heroic Pit of Saron

Voss and I queued for a random and were immediately fitted into a group that had lost its tank and one DPS. (I wanted to take my ret set out for a spin!) Of course they were more than halfway through the instance; having stalled at the gruesome trash pull as you head up the slope. We defeated it without any problems while the group went on about how they had a “tank who could actually tank.”

Tellingly, the mage was AFK for all of this trash, only deigning to join us again as we approached the corridor to run up to the final encounter. That went reasonably smoothly, even though I was doing something like 40% of the group’s DPS. This is sad mostly because I don’t think I’m all that good at being ret, although my gear is decent. We kill Tyrannus in the Longest Kill Ever, and he drops some things. The mage starts complaining, presumably because he was after the Never Melting Ice Crystal, and then he says, “Does anybody need that?” (A spellpower staff). Usually that’s what people ask when they themselves need it. So we all said that we didn’t need it. The mage rolled needed on the staff, said “Great, that’s my gold then :p” and then dropped group.

I’m left appalled that people can be so blatantly greedy and rude. I hope it isn’t reaching a point where we’ll all have to Need on things we can just to avoid people who think they’re entitled to loot more than anyone else. Did he think that any of the rest of us wouldn’t also sell the staff for the gold, or disenchant it or whatever? I have no words.

The scene: Heroic Old Kingdom

Voss is playing his DK and a bunch of us had queued together, leaving only one pug slot. It starts out harmlessly enough with an exchange of hellos and etcetera. I’m playing my moonkin main so I have to admit, I haven’t been paying very much attention. I am just hurting things and coasting along. I had pulled aggro at one point, but Starfall often does that to me. We’re all on vent just hanging out and shooting the breeze, when the mage pug says in party, “You know death and decay is great for making aggro.”

“Is he being bitchy?” I wonder incredulously in vent. Since we’ve been doing alt runs and getting gear for him, Voss’ DK has rock-solid aggro.  I haven’t noticed him losing aggro. He’s also Frost, and D&D is on a 30 second cooldown, plus most mobs die so quickly any way. It’s a heroic. It’s trash. It’s heroic trash. Seriously? And the mage is doing a good deal less DPS than either of us. We immediately go into “Why are you messing with our guildie mode,” I ask him if perhaps he has a magic button that will enable him to do decent DPS, and if so he should press it. Stews stops healing him (though he says later that he kept bandaging and potting so he never did die). We finish the instance without further words on either side (the wait was too long to just kick him).

Again, we met rudeness with some of our own, but I just can’t understand people being rude without provocation. I’ve run with some truly terrible tanks in my LFD adventures. When I run with a tank like Voss on any of his characters, it’s like the heavens open up and angels sing and there’s a shaft of sunlight that says, “Lo! And there shall be threat generation!” Then I’m happy. Even when the tank is terrible, I don’t say so, what’s the point?

The scene: Heroic Oculus

I still groan inwardly (and outwardly) when I see the loading screen for this place. It isn’t that it’s hard. It’s that herding three other chickens through it always proves to be an exercise in frustration. The other issue is that when we do it, we like to go and clear off the first platform initially. Then we proceed to the inner ring, so that there’s no backtracking. You have to kill all the platform sentry guys anyhow.

For whatever reason, pugs have trouble with this concept. They feel we should proceed directly to the inner ring. Rather than following along with (usually the tank and the healer, although this time I was DPSing again) we went to the platform. They went to the inner ring. Voss said (politely!) “Hey guys, this way,” and immediately one of the other DPS got snippy. “We have a tank and a healer here,” he said, “Just go.”

“Actually, I’m the tank, ” Voss said. Rather than deal with it, we just dropped group and took the debuff. The looong debuff. I was left hand-wringing, “I just wanted to hit some things in the face with my giant sword. Is that too much to ask?” When did people start getting precious about which way they’d go in Oculus? Is it really That Big A Deal to just roll with where the tank and healer are going? It isn’t as if we’re this huge prima donna pair (I am the tank so I can do whatever I want, that’s what being the tank means).

That’s only a random sampling of recent heroics with this kind of thing in them. I’m not sure what it is about hitting 80 that causes people to abandon any semblance of civility, but it’s pretty tiresome. Vid has pretty much purchased almost everything she could want with frost emblems, and she’s starting to spend them on retribution gear at this point, so it isn’t a really urgent mission for me. None of my characters need the daily frost emblems and so I only queue for a heroic if someone in the guild is going and needs another person, or if I want to try something out (such as my retribution spec). But even for that, it’s really not worth it.

Am I alone in this? I’m guessing I’m not, at least one of my guildies routinely winds up in Pugs From Hell. (Whenever he goes without one of us, I’m not really sure if he has bad luck… or if pugs are just bad.) Tell me your pug horror stories, get it off your chest. Or better yet, tell me about a pug you’ve had that’s been just really good. I need to believe that not all people pugging at eighty are complete jerks!

But then when you least expect it...

p.s. – I’m planning a sort of a contest, I just have to get a few things ironed out before I share the details, but stay tuned for that. I think it is going to be great fun.

Axe To The Face – Wait, no, Sword.

The problem with having a healing main spec and a tanking off spec is that you’re always taking up room or pushing someone out. Naturally, in five mans (what Vid does the most) I was either having to force a main-spec tank to play his off-DPS spec, or another main-spec healer to DPS, or in the case of heal/heal specced people, to either tank or not run with them at all. Since it happens that I rather like the people in my guild, and have no desire to tank heroic Halls of Reflection again (it went fine), I decided that I needed to buck up and give Ret another go. I liked the prot spec for soloing old instances and for sheer indestructibility, but it just wasn’t practical when I’m married to a tank anyhow. I really wasn’t having fun tanking random heroics. For the record, I did do a few. Impatient DPS barking at me to go faster, people pulling trash packs before I could even get there… It just wasn’t fun.

So I logged in to have a look at the off-spec Retribution gear I had picked it up. It looked pretty good! My tanking bracers had always been DPS bracers; I had crafted the ret goggles with a meta socket some time ago. I had a 219 necklace from the ToC 5-man, 232 shoulders. My trinkets were/are decent but nothing to write home about. My cape was pretty sucky as was at least one of my rings (I had the other 232 ring from heroic HoR). But it wasn’t bad. I dropped some change to buy a BoE cloak on the auction house, and spent some hard-earned Triumph emblems to replace my awful ring. The only piece I couldn’t immediately replace was the chest. I scraped up my engineering mats to enchant everything. I even have a decent PvP libram.

Things were looking good. I spied on my guild’s ret paladins and found a cookie cutter ret spec and glyphs. I even downloaded a retribution addon that was recommended to me. I put Berserking on my fancy new two-handed sword! I was ready. I asked if any guild folks needed to run a random heroic, surmising that they could deal with my noobish ret behaviour. We got a group together – Voss tanking, a hunter, shaman, resto druid and myself, and we went to Halls of Lightning.

I was excited. I was a RETRIBUTION paladin. An EYE for an EYE, baby. I don’t play melee DPS… you know, ever. I had a very, very brief stint as a cat druid and that’s pretty much it. So I was pretty focused on what lay before me – making sure I was close enough to trash packs, watching my rotation (yes, I get it, ret paladin rotation is to hit face somewhere in the proximity of the keyboard, har de har). So I was doing that, but was very anxious to not be utterly terrible. How was it, then, that I glanced over at Recount to…

Utter, abysmal and complete failure. Horrible. Terrible. Legendary, even. “To be later mocked behind my back,” kind of terrible. I was doing 800 DPS.

800. My level 63 Frost mage does better than that. I was ashamed and confused. “I don’t understand!” I said in Vent. “What am I doing so terribly wrong?”

We went down the list of things I might be failing at.
Was I hitting the shiny buttons in approximately the appropriate order?
Yes.
Was I wearing my healing gear?
No.
Did I have the right Seal?
Sort of.
Was I using the right Aura?
That much, at least, I had right. (It’s called Retribution aura, even I can’t mess that up).

I didn’t understand what was so wrong, and I struggled with the misery of fail and not understanding – right up until we were almost at Loken. In my excitement to crush the mobs with my mad engineering skills, I was left behind the group a little bit. As I ran, I had time to I look down at the chat log. Don’t ask me why I hadn’t looked at it before. The entire box, with a bit of loot spam on either side, was a sea of blue text. Can you guess what that blue text said?

Your skill in two-handed swords has increased to 172.
Your skill in two-handed swords has increased to 173.
Your skill in two-handed swords has increased to 174.
Your skill in two-handed swords has increased to 175.
Your skill in two-handed swords has increased to 176.

Yes, that’s right. Ms. I Always Play Casters fails again. My heirloom weapon, you understand, was a two-handed axe… or a one-handed mace, or sometimes a one-handed sword. So when I decided to try tanking, that wasn’t a problem. My previous ret weapon was also a two-handed axe. Even as a healer, I used to run up and smack things in melee range to keep my skill leveled as I went along). When I got the ICC weapon the other day I was so excited to have a great ret weapon that it completely slipped my mind that “leveling two-handed weapon skill” had been on my “to-do” list. I’m pretty sure I started that instance at zilch.

Yes, it took me the entire instance to see that my weapon skill was leveling as we went. The good news is that after I went and beat the snot out of half of Icecrown for hours, I’ve now maxed out the skill, and subsequent ret DPS has been at much more respectable levels. I wouldn’t say really great, especially not compared to our guild’s very skilled DPS… but more respectable. I’m just glad I decided to try it out with a group of friends and not random puggers. I don’t want to be the person someone else writes about in their blog.

Which brings me to another series of search results. I love them so.

ramparts corpse run – You’ve got the wrong person. But you’re in luck, because Shintar has got you covered.

what do you mean by massochism – It means “You pugged your way to 80,” or if you prefer, “When a man and a woman or a man and a man or a woman and a woman love to whip each other very much…”

scarlet monastery graveyard directions – Honey, if you got lost inside the instance there’s nothing I can do for you. I even went to look up Jame’s Scarlet Monastery Guide to see what he says and it doesn’t even have its own heading. It’s like, “As an afterthought, there’s this other instance. Just sort of go into it and see what happens because you cannot fail.” If you’re wondering how to get there… I think the Chillwind flight point is the closest – nip through the Bulwark and head North to the Monastery, you can’t miss it. As Horde it’s pretty easy because it’s right by Undercity. But why would you need to know that when everyone does LFD?

wow paladin healing new icc 5 mans – You’re going to force me to answer seriously! Anyone else, feel free to chime in with a comment if there’s something I’ve overlooked, or if you disagree or something.

Okay, for Forge of Souls, slap Beacon on the tank and don’t stop healing. No, really. The AoE damage in this instance is pretty heavy. Be ready to emergency heal yourself or bubble at Bronjahm if he fears you out into the Soulstorm. Make sure to move in for Soulstorm. Likewise be ready to bubble when all those ghosts come out at the last boss. And be sure to get behind when he does the OMG-it’s-a-wall-of-death-thing. Hilariously for a few runs I could never get the hang of which side was “behind,” continuously resulting in embarassing death.

For Pit of Saron, stick close to your tank. I hate Garfrost as a paladin healer. The LoS with the rocks, the overzealous DPS who don’t bother to go behind a rock… it’s aggravating. Just… make sure your tank doesn’t die, heal everyone else as much as you can, remember to LoS the debuff, and pray. Ick is pretty easy – your DPS may die to a poison nova or to not running when they’re being pursued, but don’t worry, you can’t heal stupid. You can BoP a pursued person if you’re feeling charitable though. Get ready to use all your “on the move” healing skills when the little magic bubbles start exploding from the ground. Holy shock someone, instant FoL someone else, lather, rinse, repeat, more or less, and that’s the whole fight! I even cast Gift of the Naaru. Shash, it’s useful! For the next bit, I like to mount up and run past those two packs of Vrykul but it can be hard to get a pug to understand it so you may end up just fighting them. Don’t stand in the Hellfire. Make sure your tank has prearranged places to pause in the frost hallway gauntlet – we usually run to the circle in the middle and pause there, then move on. You do have the speed enchant on your boots, right? The last guy is pretty easy; don’t stand in anything icy on the ground; stop healing as much as you can if you get the mark on you (I want to say “Overlord’s Brand,” is that right?). There’s a periodic enrage that will hit your tank pretty hard so be ready to heal heavy damage there, especially if your DPS don’t stop attacking when they have the mark on them. In a pug, that’s not outside the realm of possibility.

For HoR, it’s relatively simple. I tend to vary my Beacon target from instance to instance; not always putting it on the tank, but for this instance definitely do it. You’ll need to heal a lot of other people – including yourself, so it’s a lifesaver here. Dispel things as much as you can, but priority is keep everyone alive through all this silly trash. You fight Falric first – he’s a real pain. When I first started coming here with a lower gear score, the fear that he does (it hurts as you’re feared) would nearly kill me every time. You are your top priority – heal yourself, which will top off your tank, then heal everyone else as much as you can. The amount of healing and damage done decreases as the fight goes on, so heal as much as you can, but it’s important to get him down ASAP. More trash, then the other guy – he’s not nearly as tough. Don’t stand in wells of death on the ground. For the last part, the trash gauntlet – you really have to depend on your group’s competence. The tank will point nasty aboms away from you and keep things from eating your face. If he/she is doing that, then it’s cake. If not, be prepared to bubble and sprint something to a tank or whatever you have to do, and you are home free! Have fun in the ICC 5-mans, they are a happy loot-fest. Except if you sort of want the plate chest that Falric drops. I’m pretty sure it’s a myth.

dwarven eyes – Aren’t they purdy? This search came here no doubt because of Anea and her dwarf. Unless you were looking up some kind of creepy recipe alchemical dead dwarf recipe. What’s wrong with you?!

wow moonkin vs maraudon pristine waters – Aaaand in the right corner, we have the crit chicken, resplendent with feathers, fur, antlers, and socially awkward demeanor. In the left corner… Princess? My money is on the moonkin!

pants of the naaru – It’s a talking chandelier, it doesn’t wear pants.

does “zum’rah’s vexing cane” exist – This kind of search result always makes me laugh and feel a bit sad at the same time. Clearly, someone’s been chain-running Zul’Farrak. They hit google in a fit of frustration, furiously typing. They know very well that the thing exists. Maybe they want to find a Lootseeker’s support group? In any case, it does exist… my paladin has it in her bank…and I’m very sorry.

death knight tanking necessities – You want these folks, not me!

pally point – I think it’s the successor to Power Point, don’t you? Every time you go to a new “slide” there’s a brilliant flash of light that makes the audience go “AUGH” and you have to start every presentation with a warning about epilepsy because being this awesome can trigger envy and other harmful reactions.

Gallery

Tuesday Art Day: Dwarves!

This gallery contains 8 photos.

So once upon a time, there was a lovely lady named Anea who asked me if I could perhaps make a blog banner for her such as the one I made for myself (see above). I actually keep meaning to … Continue reading

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.

Incredible Heights and Depths

The thing is, I’d run Blackrock Spire so many times on my various level eighty characters. Farmed it, even, if you will. Of all the instances out there, it is one where I know pretty well how to get through – at least the Upper part. Kill the rooms of channeling orcs, open the door, head through the trash to the Rookery, up the ramp on the right – through the room with the mini-boss rare spawns, jump down off the balcony to end up fighting Rend, which opens the door where you can run through to The Beast and Drakkisath. I’d wanted the dungeon one set chestpiece, you see. For my mage, and then my druid.

I had only a vague understanding that UBRS, perhaps, might not be a five person instance. This was my thinking. In fact, UBRS might want just a few more people that are level 60. Like, oh… ten, or so.

So when the pug said, “I think we could get the Jenkins achievement with this group,” I didn’t argue. There was a good chance we could have even done it. Heck, we had four paladins and a shaman. That’s an overpowered group, isn’t it? And we really were a bit overpowered. We mowed down the trash packs, killed the fire elemental guy, and were moving at a brisk clip – right up until the attempt to get the achievement left us splat, five smears on the ground.

Like so. Also, one thing not to say to a pug group that just wiped in UBRS: "Hey, this is going to make an AWESOME screenshot for my blog!" No, I didn't say it!

And after that, well heck, we were already in UBRS, weren’t we? Why not keep going? So we did, for awhile. The shaman wasn’t impressed with the plan, so she dropped group. (Foreshadowing)… We picked up another person immediately and killed Rend Blackhand and his trash. We killed some more trash. It was only when we reached The Beast that I began to have a sinking feeling. “It has 80K HP and a skull!” one of the other paladins said.

Hm, so it did. Somehow, being level 80, I hadn’t noticed this important fact the other times I’d come here. Well, they were game to give it a try, and so was I. Unfortunately being a ret paladin and overgearing the tank led me to commit the ultimate DPS crime – I pulled aggro and went splat pretty early on. The rest of the group managed to get The Beast to about 50% health. Which is pretty good, really! Just about half what you’d expect to need – for a monster designed to be killed by ten people and not five. Or four, really, since one was decorating the ground, but who’s counting?

Okay, so…no Beast. No problem. We’d move on to Drakkisath! We’d already come this far.

We wiped on trash. And then the healer had to leave. So we re-queued, this time with me healing. We accidentally pulled two groups and the tank died. So we tried again and just got the one group, and the tank died. These mobs were about four levels higher than us, at this point. Then he got mad and left, and we re-queued once more.

Incidentally: best undocumented pug change ever. When someone joins your group to replace someone else – they appear where you are instead of at the beginning of the instance. Thank you, thank you, thank you again, Blizz. This is awesome.

Except that where we were, at this point, was a short distance from Drakkisath who we were pretty sure we couldn’t kill, and a long way from LBRS, where we’d been intended to go in the first place. We had to find another tank and DPS, but that didn’t take much time at all. We ran back to gamely start LBRS. Our tank didn’t know where he was going, but I sort of did. We got as far as the spiders before I realized that I really had to go – the whole endeavor had taken, so far, two hours. I suppose the only real benefit was that we were getting XP the whole time. I hated having to leave the group “mid-instance,” as it were, but I’d only scheduled about two hours for the endeavor in the first place.

Hours it takes to struggle through incomplete portions of both Upper and Lower Black Rock Spire: Two

Black Rock Spire wipes: Five.

Black Rock Spire achievements: Zero.

The feeling you get when you realize you’ve been causing your poor pug to beat its collective head against a wall that was intended for twice as many players, and at a higher level?

Priceless.

I’m going to cheat and get my husband’s warrior to go back with me at some later time (perhaps when the mobs no longer offer XP). Even though I didn’t get the achievements, I feel I’ve earned them!

Vid’s also level 59 now. I’m not sure I’m going to be able to finish the Dire Maul and the other instances. I may queue for Hogwarts Scholomance specifically because I like it and I’d hate to miss out on it.

That Which We Call A Troll

In terms of instances, I’m starting to sort of kind of reach the ones I am comfortable navigating my way through. The other day I managed a few more pugs. There’ll be no more reports of ten minute SM: Graveyard runs here, no. Instances nearing sixty (pre-BC, anyhow) are srs business. They’re taking at least an hour, usually more.

Take the Lower Black Rock Spire group I joined mid-way through their run. I was DPSing again – see what I mean about queue times as DPS? I don’t know how long they waited for another DPS – possibly milliseconds, but regardless, that’s what they needed. I zoned in and saw no one else near the entrance, which usually gives me a sinking feeling. “Can you find us?” the DK tank asked me. “I can try,” I told him gamely. And miraculously (to me, anyway) I really do know LBRS well enough that I had no problem. I know that you go under the bridge to the right to get to LBRS, and left leads to UBRS. I know that you jump down and there are a series of bridges and the like. It was really easy to just follow the path that they had cleared. I’ve come here multiple times on different characters to do things like the pet quests and other various stuff (including getting lost when I was actually looking for UBRS). I’ve farmed UBRS interminably for parts of the dungeon gear set that Drakkisath drops. I am an old hand at Blackrock Spire! Not really, because the only time I came here at level was on my druid when she was level 58, and I stealthed through most of the whole thing to do the pet quests, a feat I was quite proud of, I’ll have you know. Cat druid rushes in where others fear to tread!

But, I digress. I made it to the group easily and joined their merry band of “let’s murder some orcs.” Unfortunately, it was short-lived – because about five minutes later, our DK tank disconnected. I was sad to see him go, because 1) he was a Draenei and 2) he had actually been doing a good job and spoke in complete sentences. I had just typed “Should we try and wait for him?” when someone initiated a vote-kick. I voted no, but he was kicked anyhow. We puttered around a little bit waiting for another tank. It didn’t take too long before one joined, but unfortunately, I had a bad feeling about him. This time, a human DK. His name?

Vagtroll.

I’ll let that sink in a minute. What does it even mean? I spend far too much time examining the dirty underbelly of the teenage unconscious. Is he trolling… for vaginas? Does he think he is a vagina, in a derogatory sense? Does he wish the character was actually a born a troll, and so is contemplating the mystery of his birth in a form of bizarre navel-gazing?

Unfortunately, having witnessed the way that he ran into LBRS and promptly got himself killed by a wandering patrol, I’m going to have to conclude that he was simply a moron. The group fell apart quickly after that, as the healer dropped group, unwilling to wait for Mr. Troll to find his way to us, and I followed suit. I hadn’t been looking forward to seeing the kind of epic tanking he was going to put forth, and I don’t mind admitting I acted with extreme prejudice. But when you choose a name like that, you’re kind of asking for it, aren’t you?

I queued again and this time experienced another unfamiliar loading screen. I’d just put myself in flight to Feathermoon, intending to go and pick up one of the Dire Maul quests that I’m sure was there, but the instance popped up almost right away. Dire Maul! This time I was healing. I zoned into the instance and clicked to respec and change my gear, typing right after, “Excuse me, I just had to respec so I’ll need to drink before we move on.” I ran through the little hallway that leads to Dire Maul proper, and the next words the tank replied with made angels sing and rainbows arc across the sky.

“OK guys, hang on,” he said, “Healer needs mana.” This tank was the opposite of a vagtroll. He was a dream tank. If I could have fallen to my knees and thanked some deity I would have, but I just sat and drank some water instead.

Complete aside – enough with the Morning Glory Dew, already! I’ve been drinking this since level 45, and I can’t drink the Draenic stuff until 60. This is a bit of an oversight, here. It refills 2928 mana over 20 seconds. With a few happy buffs, I have over five thousand mana at this level. Do you think any pug is going to let me sit and drink for a full 40 seconds? If you did think that you’d be WRONG. I’ll forget about this in two levels as I pour Draenic water everywhere in celebration, but seriously. Lowbie puggers need better water desperately.

BUT. This tank was glorious and made of kittens and puppies and happiness, and he let me regain my mana. This is significant enough that I jotted it down on my little pug sticky notes. “Dire Maul – Pally tank. Waited for mana.” He was as considerate as the instant went on, at one point even calling a break so that I could drink when I hadn’t noticed I needed to. “Wait, healer mana,” he said. This guy should hold a seminar for tanks.

My tanking buddy and I. Yes, I took a picture, so I will remember him forever. Oh, and a big Ancient dude.

I also really just plain, flat-out like Dire Maul (so far). It’s lush and interesting to look at. We chased the annoying little imp guy all through the instance, and amazingly enough, didn’t lose sight of him or miss where he had gone to. I somehow managed to lose him when I came here with my 80 mage a long time ago. And then when I engaged him, I managed to kill myself with a Hot Streak proc to the face. Did you know that spell reflect is a powerful tool versus an inattentive and powerful mage? I’m here to tell you.

Another thing that’s a powerful tool of death…

Twitter. I play with two monitors so I’ve usually got blogs/websites/whatever open on my second monitor. I clicked over to ask some pally related questions, because I know that my Twitter list has fabulous holy paladins on it, who did in fact answer my questions. They should’ve told me, though, “Instead of asking about Divine Illumination on Twitter, maybe you should try healing your tank.”

Yes, Twitter was nearly the death of my beloved pally tank. I have another confession to make, too. I said… “Wow, sorry guys, I got some really weird lag just then!” …You know, like the kind of lag that comes from alt-tabbing out to a different window to talk on twitter when you should be healing. Mental lag, if you will. The kind that five minutes later had me ask the hunter by name to dispel the curses, instead of the druid. He said, “Srsly? …I’m a hunter.” Whoops. Of course, the druid never responded, nor did he dispel the curses. So I suppose the greatest example of pug idiocy in this group came from me, never let it be said that just because I blog about pugs I’m ‘holier than thou!’

Although I absolutely am Holier than most of them. Except when I’m not. Because I’m a Holy paladin, get it…? I’ll stop now, honest.

A few search engine terms:

how to heal deadmines on a paladin and can a paladin heal deadmines – The answer is “Holy Light” and “Yes,” respectively, although if you’re level 20 you’ve learned Flash of Light, use it well. And Glyph Holy Light. No problem!

holy pally leveling kings or wisdom – At earlier levels, I went with Kings. It’s immensely powerful for the level. I didn’t take Imp. Wisdom right away either, bypassing it to get further down the tree and only coming back to get it later. Of course the best answer is “Both!” if you’re lucky enough to have another paladin. I say switch it up. Sometimes a larger mana pool (yay Kings!) means you don’t really have to worry about regen too much. Once you start getting all the happy Int talents I think Kings is a clear choice, but please correct me if I’m wrong, resident Holy paladins who know more than I (that’s all of you). I’ve been buffing Wis lately just because I can do the Greater version, and it lasts 30 minutes, and I’m lazy.

cat lovers are masochist and dog lovers are awesome – I might agree, but I’ll never tell. I can hear my dog snoring on the other side of the wall as I type this. He has a very robust snore.

jak zbudować wind furry u shamana enh? – “Shaka, when the walls fell.” I think this might be Polish…? I have no idea how they wound up here, though. Except I do have a shaman. But that’s all I know.

Queen of the Depths

I found some time to do a fair bit of pugging early last weekend. I queued for a random instance, keeping in mind that I’d really like to get the Classic Dungeonmaster achievement – which feat will require me sneaking into Orgrimmar to do Ragefire Chasm… I failed to queue early enough when I was still “allowed” to go there. It turns out that random instances at my level range are not so random. Do you like lava, things that are underground, and Dark Iron dwarves? Because you’re going to be seeing a lot of them if you’re randomly queuing around level 50 and up. I know that three BRD runs doesn’t sound like that much but it actually is if you consider that each of those runs took an hour, minium, but closer to an hour and a half or even more. I stopped watching the clock at some point.

The good news is that I completely finished the whole thing, twice, meaning we killed the final boss. Of the three times I ran it randomly, I only received a Satchel one time – which is a bit of a “duh?” oversight, in my opinion. Maybe I’m missing something obvious, but I don’t think there’s any way to tell which portion of the instance you’ve been queued for until you actually finish it. There’s BRD – Prison, and BRD – Upper City, but because the instance is so vast and sprawling, people tend to just head off in the direction they’re familiar with. If you don’t know much about BRD (join my club) – the place is vast. The wowwiki page says it takes 4-6 hours to clear it completely (I doubt this is the case, anymore) . In a place with so many bosses, the odds are pretty good that you just won’t be killing whichever boss it considers the “end” of the portion you’re queued for, except when that boss happens to be Thaurissian himself.

BRD – I
This first run I was healing. It’s actually interesting to note that sometimes, being queued as DPS gets me an instant group while being a healer does not.  It makes for a nice change, anyway. I’d say I still heal about 80% of the time but that extra 20% of light-based-here-please-eat-my-axe keeps me happy.

For some reason, the tank in this run was incredibly hard to heal. He was wearing heirlooms, and assorted other instance-reward blue gear. His HP was 4076 (at level 54). I don’t think he was pulling with any more zeal than other tanks I’ve run with. He was a paladin. I don’t know if he just wasn’t using his cooldowns much, maybe? His HP seemed comparable to the tanks from my other two runs (I checked afterwards). I didn’t quite have the gumption to mention it or ask him, thinking it might be some defect with me. I have been playing as ret somewhat, have I forgotten how to heal?

Anyway, we did end up wiping on this run due to pulling more or less the entire room of bar patrons onto us. I think it was consecrate that did it. It wasn’t the only hairy “OMG what is this I don’t even…” moment, either. The tank said, “Been tanking for 20 levels and never lost two people on one pull before!” Well, me neither, but your inability to hold aggro versus this DPS meant that I couldn’t quite keep them alive. I hear that healing two tanks is something a paladin can do easily while balancing on their nose and doing flippy-tricks with their weapon, but three, when two are wearing dresses? Probably not.

I find that after having played other healing classes (the one I play most commonly is a druid) my inability to keep up with heavy AoE damage frustrates me quite a bit. OK, it’s not even heavy AoE damage so much as it is “whenever three people are taking damage simultaneously.” Holy Light is quite a bit faster than it was but it’s still not super fast, and with this tank I definitely needed the “oomph” to keep him alive. But the time needed to throw FoLs and Holy Shocks around would see him nearly dying again. I’m really hoping that having Beacon will help to alleviate this. It’s nice to stave off an encounter that started to feel like Certain Doom and have everyone ooh and ah over your healing, it’s not so nice to hyperventilate and feel as if no matter how fast you’re clicking, there’s nothing more you could have done, even with using all of your protective and special cooldowns.

Although the scenery in BRD was amazing, all you get is this picture of my shield.

BRD – II

My second BRD queue saw me with a bear tank, and I wasn’t healing (we had a tree), I was retribution! I got these neat plate legs at the end for my troubles. I like them, they are flashy and red.

I haven’t had a chance to enthuse about this to anyone besides my guild yet, so I will say it here. I absolutely love playing retribution so far. I don’t care if people tease me about being a two-button wonder. It’s really fun. I may have mentioned this in my previous entry (Art of WAAAAARRR) but it bears repeating. Playing melee DPS is an incredibly different experience from all of my ranged characters, and I never really played Fury with my warrior so maybe the experience is similar. It’s just really satisfying to hear a clanging sound and see a monster’s health go down and say to yourself, “Yes, I hit that.” It’s also nice to be able to take a few hits if an angry mob isn’t impressed when I poked him with a battle axe.

I’ll confess, I sometimes zone out a bit during these instance runs. Especially BRD which lends itself to a hypnotic feeling. More Dark Iron dwarves. More tunnels/passageways/whatever. Look, lava! So it took me awhile during this run to notice something.

That’s funny, I thought, who is the other melee DPS? It’s not a rogue – wait, is she hitting things with a staff? I looked at her name, and then I looked over at Recount to see the greeness of it. She was a hunter. For posterity, let it be known, that a hunter meleeing with their weapon (sans pet) in BRD can achieve an average of 80 damage per second. Most other DPS in that run and others average around 500.

Please understand I don’t want to rant on about this person in an “oh what a terribad I’m so awesome at WoW” kind of way, I actually want opinions, suggestions, whatever… What would you have done? Would you message her and try to gently come around to the point – “So are you new to WoW etc.”? Would you take a more direct approach – “You would probably do better DPS if you used your ranged weapon and brought your pet out.” The first one feels condescending to me, and the second, interfering. I remembered someone saying in a blog – some people just don’t care about this game as much to research it, and they are just having fun. So who cares if they aren’t pulling a billion DPS? We’re not in a raid. It’s a 5-man. Our heirlooms can carry a few people easily. We finished the instance, after all. Maybe it was a bit slower, but I had time.

So I took option three. I did and said nothing, and the melee hunter continued to melee her way through BRD happily, I can only presume, with Zum’rah’s Vexing Cane. Let’s just say that I’ve always enjoyed this staff, but its name took on new meaning in this context. What would you have done?

Modeling shiny new leggings that will soon be replaced by Outland greens. But for now they say, "I went to BRD and I stole Dagran's pants, too."

BRD – III

For the third run, I was healing again. There were a pair of mages here from the same guild, clearly leveling together with their hefty heirloom gear, and I was quite happy to have them, mostly because they knew their way around. In our previous run, nobody had the key to proceed to the later levels. (In my defense, why didn’t I have the key myself – I did pick up the quest when we wiped, but I’m already at the point of the instance where killing the required bosses would’ve caused us to go out of our way.) But these two mages both had the key, and so BRD was our oyster. The kind of oyster that takes you two full hours to pry open.

These three runs have more or less merged in my recollection. It’s all a dark blur to me.. I know that I went to BRD, and I know that things were killed. The most notable person in all the runs was the hunter, and I’m still conflicted about that. All of the groups were pleasant. This last group did press on all the way to Thaurissian where the previous one hadn’t, and yet again I scored loot from him. It was one of those random enchantment type-rings that usually end up being questionable, but this one made me so happy I gasped audibly when it dropped. It was an Emperor’s Seal…of intellect. 16 delicious points of it. I was very happy to roll on it, and very happy to win it (sorry, mages, you weren’t running OOM anyway, give me a break. Besides, it has no spellpower, shame on you.)

So after all of that, what do I think of BRD? I’m astounded to report that I don’t think we really got lost. One of the groups hung a bit when we weren’t quite sure how to open a particular door. But overall it was quite smooth. I don’t have many more deaths to add to my total. I am content. I could have been more efficient had I picked up or done pre-quests for this instance, because I think there are a ton and they’re worth a good deal of XP. I’ve even done more pugging since – my first trip to Dire Maul, and a short-lived Lower Black Rock Spire run. Vid is level 58 now. (Yes, so many hours in BRD will do that to you). I took her to Outland and trained Master enchanting as well as the next level of Engineering. It looks as if the materials to craft a flying machine have been adjusted? In any case, I have all the mats lined up and ready to go and I’m very excited. Pugging pally will soon be terrorizing the skies, but not until I’ve finished Dire Maul, Scholomance, and Stratholme, hopefully. I did the quest chain to get the key to Scholo (I know it’s not required any more, but I like having it) and I have the key to the rest of Dire Maul as well so hopefully that should smooth over runs into the other wings. It’s hard to restrain myself from leaping headlong into Outlands, but a guildie mentioned to me that once you are level 60 – you can’t queue for level 60 instances any more, or at least not randomly. I may be queuing specifically for each wing of Dire Maul as I need it, and likewise for Scholo and Strat. Yes, I don’t want to go back to BRD. I conquered it already, see?

Conveniently, it's not just Dwarven sized.

Also, to add – on the topic of gently approaching someone clearly and utterly failing at their given task… When I rolled Vidyala the Second and put her into Single Abstract Noun, I was happily running around Azuremyst assailing moths and other wildlife with my clumsy bludgeon when I received a whisper. “Are you new to WoW?” this person asked. I checked who it was. A level 80 paladin, currently at the Exodar. It only took me a split second to realize – he’d seen the [Lousy Cloth Robe of Greyness] I was wearing. You know how the starting zone just drops…whatever? And if you’re lucky, it drops crappy mail stuff, but sometimes it doesn’t. It hadn’t. My reasoning was…hey, it’s better than nothing.

I said, “Are you asking because you saw me wearing a dress?”
Him: “Well, I was hearthing out and I just caught a glimpse…”

I explained that it wasn’t my first character, but that it was an alt and I had no other characters on this server – plus it had been the only thing to drop. He asked me about the guild, I told him it was a guild of bloggers and blog readers, and he fled away a million miles after politely murmuring “Ohisn’tthatnice.” So, I’m very sorry, SAN, for inadvertently giving us all a reputation for harbouring the worst kind of Failadins and noobs ever.

Even my alternative alternative paladin fails at dressing like a paladin.

It’s still pugging if you met in an instance.

Today I had the chance to play my not-so-wee-anymore paladin. I’ll be honest with you, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it. In fact, after a tumultuous couple of weeks in the wow-verse, I’ve been avoiding my paladin altogether. Long story extremely short: I inherited our guild. I’ve been recruiting for said guild, and doing all those guild-ish things, and it hasn’t left a lot of time for pugging when I do get a chance to play. I even made an alt in Single Abstract Noun, and haven’t had a chance to login there since. I really like the idea of hanging out with all of the awesome blogging folks, and it was a blast when I was able to do it, but I don’t know how often I’ll be able to do so. No, it isn’t a “look at me I’m so busy and important” so much as it is “I can only devote so much time to this game and keeping a guild going and raiding take a lot of the time available to me.” I love reading about what other SAN folks have been up to, though.

But more than all of those things, I’ve been avoiding Vid because I just haven’t been in a healing mood. Logging in and staring at her in her heirlooms wasn’t changing that fact, either. I thought about it. My patience (low) and energy (ditto) just couldn’t handle a frustrating pug experience. I was in the mood to hit some things in the face.

It was time to drop my prot spec and make it a ret spec.

A quick google search yielded this thread on the official WoW forums: Paladin Leveling Guide 3.3. There was a ret spec fully mapped out there, level by level. I followed it blindly. I hopped on my unicorn and did a few laps around Stormwind. My horse suddenly has more horsepower! Then I bought ret glyphs, and queued exclusively as a DPS and hopped a flight to Chillwind where I had a paladin quest to drop off. Surprisingly enough, the instance announcement appeared while I was somewhere over Arathi.

An unfamiliar loading screen later and I found myself at the entrance to BRD. This is definitely one of the instances they’ve chopped into tiny, digestible pieces, apparently – because when we reached the end of the run we all sort of looked around going, “Is that it?” It seriously took… it felt like about ten minutes. Maybe fifteen, I wasn’t timing it.

At that point, the tank whispered me and said, “If you want to queue for the next part, drop group and we can queue for it.” I thought he was just yanking my chain, since you can’t form a group with people from other servers; until I actually looked at his name. He wasn’t from another server, he was from my server. But when we formed up again, we couldn’t queue for the next part because I was lower level than he was and it wouldn’t let us. I suggest that we could queue up again for just a random, and he agreed. Sunken Temple came up instantly, and I was quite pleased because knowing the tank, I knew I could get him to come and do my quest to kill Hakkar. Taking Cass’ most excellent advice, I made sure to look up a map beforehand so I knew exactly where it was and could easily say, “It’s just right here, guys! The boss drops good loot!”

Fortunately the group was patient despite what actually is a bit of a gong show of a quest. “Yes, we’re going to get locked in this room. Uh-huh, waves of adds are going to come out and start attacking everyone willy-nilly. If you get blood from this one you have to extinguish the flame here. No, not there. Here. Over here. Right. Here!” So I finished the quest finally, we wrapped up the instance with no problems – the tank was really very good. A tank that makes me happy is one managing the mobs into neat groups. A tank who even does a line of sight pull on the trolls before Jamma’lan! It was great. I even got a proper healing shield! (I know, I was DPSing, nobody else wanted it anyhow.)

When we were done the instance, my new-found tank friend and I talked in party a little bit. Did I have a tanking off-spec, he wondered? Because he would like to DPS an instance. I said that no, I didn’t, but I could queue as a healer and that should get us in fairly quickly.

Twenty minutes elapsed with the pair of us queued as healer and DPS.

“How about we quest while we wait?” he said.

I considered possible answers.

“Yes, I’d love that. Waiting for queues has been so frustrating.”

“Oh no, I couldn’t do that, because I’m not questing, you see. It’s for my blog.”

“Ummm brb, dog aggro.”

You can surmise what my answer was when I tell you that Vid is now level 54. When I logged in to pug yesterday, she was still 49. It sure wasn’t pugs that helped her gain nearly five whole levels, although they did play a role. I quested together with the warrior for a goodly long while, and we were unstoppable. Mobs fell down before us. He would gather entire packs and I would be there cutting them in half with my gigantic two-hander and it was so fast. Pugging has been incredibly fun, particularly in the lower levels when I don’t enjoy the zones as much, it was a refreshing change from the lowbie grind I’ve done so many times. But watching other people level alts at light-speed and pass me by (at present count, no less than four alts in my guild have been rolled and subsequently reached eighty or near to eighty while I languished in my forties, crawling my way slowly forward.)

So with the longer queue times, I’ve still been putting myself out there to pug, but also questing in-between. I went back and finished off much of Felwood last night while waiting in a queue that eventually appeared and dropped me in BRD into an “instance in progress.” I was greeted by groans and general exclamations and complaints against Blizzard. Apparently, the instance I’d joined had just finished, they’d killed the last boss and were completely done. I guess when one member left their group it automatically queued for a replacement? I’m not quite sure. In any case, I had another fifteen minutes to wait until I could queue once more, but another group never did appear, although I was queuing as either heals or DPS. I can only imagine what havoc the new “wait time debuff” will play with my pugging scheme in the case of technical errors like this. It’s not like I joined a pug to be a jerk and then just left. I guess I should be cautious about accepting “in-progress” groups from now on. With a wait time of about twenty minutes to get into a group, and then a fifteen minute debuff if the group falls apart for some reason – it could conceivably be half hour or more before I even get into a viable pug, let alone finish one. So it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that I am going to keep doing some questing to get to level sixty.

Does this mean the end of the Pugging Pally? My husband tells me that “The Questing Pally” doesn’t really have the same ring to it. Of course I’m going to keep pugging, I may even pug more exclusively once more as I head into Outlands where there might be more demand to run the instances, and certainly Northrend will be the same way once I’m there. I just don’t see the point in punishing myself for the sake of my “experiment,” or pure cussed stubbornness. If the experiment was to see whether one could level to 80 entirely using the LFD tool – absolutely, once you hit 15 and are eligible for queues, I have no doubt you could get to 80 entirely that way. Especially if you’re inclined to be a tank, or in the case of many crazy people of my acquaintance,a tank/healer dual-specced, or leveling as a tank with a healer friend, etc. But I don’t necessarily think it’s the most expedient way. Even for a tank with instance queue times, I believe that XP per hour gained is much greater from quests and a judicious combination of instances. I’ve also learned that it’s a little bit boring being confined to the capital city, just waiting for your next pug. I’ve been running around gathering flight points, and doing quest chains, and that’s part of what I enjoy about the game. I like quests. Why did I ever decide I would do no quests?

I wanted to put myself out of my comfort zone and meet people and I’m going to continue to do that. Heck, I quested for hours with someone I had pugged with yesterday, which is technically a quest pick-up-group. And I had a blast! That’s really more the spirit of the endeavor anyhow – level a character a bit differently and have a good time. If my own restrictions have begun to impede that for no good reason, then it’s time to change the rules. I made them, after all.

That said, here are some fun things:

This is the face of someone who's been wearing weenie-roasting forks on her shoulders for 50 levels.

I love the look of plate armour. It’s really nice to wear plate armour. I have nothing against the mail that’s been serving me so well, but as I’ve complained before – it just doesn’t feel very paladin-esque. I suppose neither does the giant battle-axe with the skull on it, but use your imagination, right? The skull is being used in service of the Light.

Have I mentioned how much I really enjoy retribution since I’ve tried it? I’ve set up my Power Auras to let me know when things proc, and Miksscrollingbattletext does the same. I may or may not have been gleefully yelling, “Art of WAAAAARRR” when my art of war procs. You have no proof.

My other favourite thing from around here – search engine terms! These are the ones that made me laugh out loud, along with a sizable number of “Maraudon – Pristine Waters” searches. I’m sorry, I really don’t know as much about it as I should know, having been there a number of times. I wasn’t even spelling it correctly until recently.

tanks rushing looking for dungeaon – They do that. You can ask them politely to slow down so you don’t have water splashing past your face as you try to drink and run simultaneously. They might call you a whiner and be jerks, or they might apologize and say they didn’t realize you hadn’t had a moment to catch your breath. Or they might simply ignore you and continue on regardless, but you won’t know if you don’t try, right?

you’ve got mail sfk – In this romantic comedy gone wrong, Archmage “Wolf” Arugal enters into a correspondence with Sylvanas Windrunner. Unknown to them both, it is in fact Arugal’s crazed worgen who are terrorizing Silverpine Forest and messing with Sylvanas’ people in the region. When they set up a coffee date, he sees her and realizes that she is cute, but dead, and she freaks out when he stands her up and a wolf makes off with her quiver. Eventually circumstances bring her to realize his true identity, and she orders the Forsaken to slaughter him and all of his worgen minions, proving in the end that love does not conquer all. “W-O-L-F.”

my paladin swings so slowly – Maybe he needs coffee? The fast and dirty ret guide I found yesterday said that slow, hard-hitting weapons are actually what a ret pally wants. Correct me if I’m wrong, those who are more knowledgeable in the ways of swinging the Light. And an edit here, thanks to Kring in the comments, I know that a slower weapon isn’t actally bad for a pally tank either! You can read more about that here. This is why I have people who know things!

why didnt i get my achievement for scarlet – Did you do the whole thing? Really, the whole entire thing? Every wing, from Graveyard, Armory, Library, and Cathedral? Because if you don’t complete all of them, you won’t get the achievement, it’s tied to all of the bosses together.

anything good for paladin drop in zul’fa – Yes, and then your tank will drop group after he gets it.

“lfd leveling” mage build
– Now this one isn’t funny so much as I think it’s interesting. I’d personally go Frost all the way – in fact, hang on, I’m leveling a mage right now, and I did go frost all the way! Frost is great for soloing in addition to instancing (for while you’re waiting for that mystical queue to appear) and it’s incredibly mana efficient. Plus, it’s really fun. Don’t glyph Frostbolt either – the slow effect helps a ton while you’re out killing things, and even sometimes in instances. For leveling as a frost mage, I’d use something like this build. Go deep down the frost tree and then pick up arcane after, on your way to 80. It isn’t necessarily an ideal DPS build but should be very mana efficient and control oriented. I put two points in Arctic Reach because I like being able to hit things from as far back as possible, but if you find yourself using Cone of Cold fairly often it’d be worth putting points in the talent to buff that, or in something like Frost Warding if you are doing a lot of soloing or would like to try your hand at PvP as you level up. I didn’t put points in Imp. Blizzard because combined with your freezing/chill effects it will do that thing where it locks all the mobs to the ground, causing them to turn to the nearest melee and try to eat them, regardless of how much threat the tank might have. It’s nice for AoE grinding mobs if you’re out soloing, but kind of annoying in an instance, so take a point there at your own discretion.

Alternatively, I suppose a strong argument could be made for a fire build going through LFD – it’ll give you a lot of damage, but you won’t be quite so survivable if you (whoops) pull aggro from a tank. If you wanted to be fire, I’d go with a spec like this one (I only did it until level 60). Actually, I realized in doing this that I’m out of mage touch (sniffle) and it saddens me. Any magier folks want to take a stab at what they’d recommend for an LFD fire mage? Don’t put yourself out, though, because I imagine the person who googled it originally will never actually see it.