Tag Archives: Blood Furnace

Wednesday Linking Love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A conversation from one of our wipe nights on LK:

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

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

RL: “You know what I mean!”

Other Raider: “I loled”

Raider: “Well it’s true!”

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

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

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

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

In Other News, Fire Is Still Hot

*ETA: In order to give credit where its due, I think I saw this comic by Noxychu quite awhile ago and absorbed the message as A Funny Thing, thus using it as part of this entry’s title. But the original credit for being funny is hers!

I suppose I have to chronicle Hellfire in a more detailed way before I’ve blissfully forgotten it forever. Probably some of the quotes from the previous entry could do with some context as well. Let’s do this fast and dirty, just like a Ramparts run!

1. Hellfire Ramparts – In Which a DK is polite

We had a DK tank. He or she was polite, and that’s all I noted about the run. I suppose it’s bad that this is noteworthy? I should say, that any criticism of death knights at this level by no means is meant as a slam against people who play DKs at 80. I have known and enjoyed the company and skills of folks who’ve chosen to make this relatively new class their “main” characters, and most people in my guild have DK alts. I have a DK alt, but I made her to have a bank alt on my new server with initial bagspace, gold, and the ability to sprint around Azeroth mining for me. So she doesn’t count.

I should also note that when I am out doing aforementioned mining, it takes me a good amount of time to kill level 30 slimes because I have no idea what I am doing. If I were to ever actually level her, I have no doubt I’d be the failingest fail-ey DK of them all. Or I’d come to someone who knew better and get help. But I wouldn’t sign myself up to tank, that’s for sure.

2. Hellfire Ramparts – In Which Vid discovers Bacon

I think I’m starting to get the hang of it now, but when I first learned Beacon it was really strange to me. I had to set up my Vuhdo to readily show when Beacon dropped off the tank (BAD) and get used to healing other people instead of the tank. People who might not necessarily need healing. But when any AoE damage or other incidental damage was going out, I was ON THAT HEALING IT LOOK I’M HEALING TWO PEOPLE AT ONCE I AM AWESOME. And then the hunter got mad at me.

“Stop healing me!” he said. I could have sworn he’d taken damage. I was happy for the damage he’d taken. It gave me an excuse to heal the tank by proxy.

“??” I replied.

“Yeah, he can feign death,” the DK tank said. I got what they were saying. Don’t heal him because he doesn’t need healing because he can do his “I’m a dead hunter” trick. However.

“Yes, and I can heal the beaconed tank by healing someone else,” I told them both. “I’m glad we had this rundown of each others’ class abilities.”

“Oh,” they both loled. “I thought you were a shaman.”

Vid is going to hit 80 and be Retribution for weeks just for spite, I swear. She’ll be hitting things in the face with something large and sharp and growling between gritted teeth, “HOW DO YOU LIKE THE ‘SHAMAN’ NOW, HUH?”

3. Hellfire Ramparts – In Which Vid Laments Her Lack of Mana

The only thing I wrote to remember this instance was “MANA OMG.” Yes, my handwriting has a caps lock, too. I really, really was struggling for mana during these instances, especially the earlier ones, and it was stressing me the heck out. I started doing some Hellfire quests just to get a few upgrades, including a shield, a ring, pants, etc. I am still seeming to have trouble with mana though – I really don’t know what I am doing wrong. I’ve been using Divine Illumination whenever I can. I’m doing the Bacon thing which should be like double healing, right? And yet I’m gasping along behind. This wasn’t a problem with the level 50+ instances. Is it just that the DKs are taking much more damage? Is it their tanking? My healing? I’m just not sure. And someone else in this Ramps run thought I was a shaman, too. About 3/4 of the way through the instance they exclaimed, “Hey guys, I just noticed our healer is a paladin!”

Maybe it’s because I’ve played all the healing classes, but I’m quite attuned to the sound of different classes. DK tanks have that weird blood boil sound. Shaman healing sounds kind of like bells and occasionally grows flowers, also it is green. Paladin healing is bright and ‘Light’-ey, and Beacon makes that very distinctive… um… Well, is it a sound like bacon, perhaps? “Shhhhhhzzzap!” Yes? Apparently by the number of people who mistake me for a shaman, not everyone is paying attention to these things. Also, I built myself a roflcopter. I am happy.

What do you mean, it pollutes? I use diesel!

4. Hellfire Ramparts – In Which a DK is Mourned

I need to take better notes. All I wrote here was “Tank death (DK) ??” Wait, I get what I was saying. My tank died and I let it happen. I don’t know if they are just pulling too much or what, but I was feeling pretty down by this point. I couldn’t keep my mana up, people were dying, and the run was full of that silently accusatory, “Look, we pulled a bad healer” vibe. I started to feel like a fraud. Who am I writing about a holy paladin when I clearly don’t know what I’m doing, at all? But I forced myself to keep going. Even if it was just Beacon growing pains, I wouldn’t get better at it if I didn’t keep doing it.

5. Hellfire Ramparts – In Which There Is A Tank That Is Not A DK

This run had a warrior tank I chatted with briefly. First, I’m sorry again to the DKs, but I was cautiously hopeful when I saw that she/he was a warrior. This is a complete bias on my part. My husband plays a warrior. I just like them. They aren’t always good (and I’ve documented this fact here) but at least in this case it was something different. The warrior tank was pretty good. A bit of overzealous pulling but nobody died. She won style points at one juncture because she turned to one of the DPS DKs and said, “Hey, if you want to Death Grip that on over to yourself, you’re welcome to keep on tanking it.”

I laughed and whispered to her that I was glad she was tanking. She told me that the thing with many DKs is that it’s the first time they’ve tried tanking and so they often just don’t have the faintest idea what they’re doing. I can confirm this to be largely true.

6. Hellfire Ramparts – In Which Something Is Burning

This time we had a paladin tank. I like this because it means more blessings to go around. In general the run went pretty smoothly, with the usual buffoonery. First of all, I suppose if you want to name yourself “Crotch that is on fire,” you should probably spell it correctly. Secondly, why would you name yourself that? I can never bring myself to ask. But, “Firecroch” was the mage’s name.

However. You know during the Vazruden fight – the dragon is flying around above, breathing fire on everyone? The fire hits the ground in a splash and then it stays there. If you also stay there, well, it does a strange thing.

Sort of a burning thing.

So when I see Firecroch taking damage, I look over. Sure enough, Firecroch the mage is standing smack in the middle of the flaming death.

She’s still casting. She’s not moving.

Having initially tossed her a heal, my thought process went something like this (condensed over 1.5 seconds): “Hmm, if I heal her, it heals the tank anyway. But… she’s standing in the fire. And her name is Firecroch. And so if she died because she stood in the fire, wouldn’t that be funny and ironic? Plus it will teach her not to stand in fire. No it won’t, but it will still be funny and ironic.”

[Firecroch has died.]

7. Blood Furnace – In Which Chaos Ensues

This run, if I had let it, might have killed my pugging career all on its own. It had everything. A tank pulling ridiculously fast and not waiting for me to drink (a paladin, for what it’s worth, just to prove I don’t slander DKs exclusively). It also had: “Flossyourass,” a rogue, “Massmurder,” a balance druid, and “Criticalsnot,” a melee hunter.

There was a bit of a power struggle going on, because Criticalsnot seemed to feel that he should be the one pulling things. The tank, however, disagreed. This run did involve a wipe, too. The tank charged into a room full of red orcs, and as he was running he was throwing his shield at yet more orcs – and then he ducked behind a crack in the wall. Keep in mind, I’m about 20 yards back (having been drinking) and running to try to catch up. He died, horribly, and nobody said a word. During the run back, still nobody said anything. I started and stopped a few times, but I usually find it’s best not to say anything when I’m that angry.

It goes something like, “If you’d like us all not to die horribly–” [delete, delete], “For next time, it’d be nice if you could not break LoS so I can heal your stupid a–”… [delete, delete].

We got back to the room that had wiped us. The tank went in, and… pulled one group. He waited until it was dead, and THEN pulled the next group. Much better.

Until we get to the room with the giant head behind bars. There’s a number of trash packs in the room, that have to be systematically killed. Then you pull the lever, which releases one room of imprisoned orcs at a time. Then at the end, you engage the boss.

Not so, with this group. It went something more like:

- We kill most of the trash, but the two packs at the back of the room are still there. I’m drinking.

- Criticalsnot, the melee hunter, first PULLS THE LEVER, and then charges in to facepull these two packs of mobs. Deliberately.

- I let him die. (I don’t have guilt about this anymore.)

- Because none of us engaged those mobs or healed him, they don’t aggro immediately on us. The tank has time to pick up the first pack of orcs that are now rushing towards us, I have barely any mana. We manage to kill the leftover trash too. While this is all going on, he whispers me. “Rez me plz”

- I ignore him, because 1) I’m healing the gong show caused by his shenanigans, 2) First I’m a shaman, now I look like a druid? I can’t rez in combat any way. But I resolve that even when the whole thing is over, if we come out alive, I won’t rez him.

- Amazingly, we all live. He’s still dead on the floor, now sounding off in party chat. “Rez me, rez me.”

- Earning himself many points in my book, the tank says, “Why should we rez you? WTF is wrong with you?”

- I second the notion, but the druid is rezzing the guy for whatever reason. I initiate a vote to kick him as soon as I can, but miraculously it doesn’t pass, and then the tank leaves the group. I follow suit, very happy to wash my hands of the lot of them.

I have done some more pugging since then, but that’s all that I have the energy to detail here for the time being. As Vid is now level 63, I’m starting to get Underbog and Slave Pens runs, and I hadn’t yet set foot in Zangarmarsh at all. There are a few truths I’m now coming to realize.

If I can make it through the next ten levels of pugging, I can survive anything. When I first dabbled in healing, it was with my then level-70 priest. Our guild had almost no healers and somebody had to do it. I began leveling her to 80 (this was before any such LFD thing) making myself as available to pugs as possible. I healed a ton of pugs as I leveled, even though it was scary. I wanted them to be bad, and hectic, because I knew it was the best way to learn how to heal. Questing wouldn’t teach me that. Now I don’t need to learn how to heal, but I am learning how to heal as a holy paladin and it’s a work in progress. I really don’t think I was very good when I first got Beacon. It feels counter-intuitive to me to heal a target other than the one taking the most damage. I may still be doing it wrong and generally sucking, but I will improve (I hope). When a DK facepulls a room full of orcs that fear, it’s a challenge to me to pull it off in the face of great stupidity adversity. And that’s pretty fun.

The second truth is that these levels will go fast. I’m going to do quests that offer good rewards (in particular things like Librams and Trinkets that aren’t easily obtainable otherwise, although apparently Blood Furnace has a potential Libram for me!). Even with just a bit of questing I was half of the way to 64 in no time. I wasn’t trying to get so much XP, but I wanted a Libram! So Vid will probably rip through and be in Northrend in very short order.

Also, spellpower plate in Burning Crusade is oddly itemized. “Yay, spellpower plate! …Um, OK, I suppose I’ll take some strength with that, too. Why not?”

Finally, this is unrelated to pugging, and is shameless plugging on my part, but my husband asked me so plaintively, “Are you going to write about The Lich King?”

So yes, yes I am.

My strict ten-person raiding guild did this last night:

He's not so scary when he's got the gaping-mouth "I'm dead" thing going on.

And it was awesome. We’d been seeing steady progress since first attempting the fight, and we’ve had some staff turnover (almost an entirely new healing staff, come to think of it). So I’m immensely pleased and excited to start ICC hard modes next week, and to have such a great group of people to do this content with. We’re looking for one more DPS, by the way. If you are or know anyone who’s searching!

Finally, to whoever came here via searching for scarlet monastery +pornography, you won’t find that here!

OK no, really, finally, to the other person who searched the well dressed level 80 prot paladin – let’s be friends. We’ll have a fashion show. As soon as I can lose these lousy wiener fork shoulders.

Vid does Hellfire

Today I ran Hellfire Ramparts seven times, and The Blood Furnace twice. I have met the DKs, people, and this is all I have to say about the matter.

Worth at least 1000.

I’m single-handedly healing every DK that ever thought “hero” class sounded like an awesome idea. They have names like Massmurder, Criticalsnot (I wish I were joking, although that one was a hunter), and Firecroch (sic). I’m sure I’ll have more to say about them later, but for now this about sums up my experience. Those are all quotes. I cannot tell a lie.