Tag Archives: paladins hide their shields behind the light

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

Gallery

Tuesday Art Day: Righteous Defense

This gallery contains 12 photos.

I’ll admit it, this is a post that’s been delayed several times because I knew how many images it would require. (It’s a lot). You have been warned! Sometime a few months ago, the illustrious Rhidach of Righteous Defense inquired … Continue reading

I seem to have misplaced my pants.

A funny thing is happening with my pug runs lately. I haven’t been able to connect much with Lara so I’ve just been doing a few randoms on my own. But the strange thing is, they’re getting exceedingly…competent. Nothing funny is happening as a result of this, which is something of a relief but also leads to a strange feeling of… I’m not sure what to call the feeling. In any case, my guild’s two very vocal protection paladins have been badgering me about being Prot. One of them referred disparagingly to me in the manner of, “Well, what can you do with a pally who won’t tank, anyway?” and the other one insisted “But you could see things the way I see them!” I told him that:

1) I have little to no gear for this venture. Especially, no shield.
2) Learning to tank in pugs at nearly 80 would probably not go well. Learning to tank in heroics would be even worse, so conditionally I’ll only do it if I can drag some guildies along. Which is actually a terrible idea because they’re all ICC-geared and will pull from me casually and effortlessly, but at least they probably wouldn’t die. We had our ret paladin tank Oculus the other day without a single death. How does it make tanks feel to be superfluous? Probably the same way I feel when I’m “healing” my husband’s warrior tank.

Anyway, so I told our pally tank these things, and he said, “You have a shield, you have a healing shield!” and I laughed at him. Then my Violet Hold run came up, and this tanking shield dropped. The tank already had it. With an inward sigh, I piped up, “Does anyone mind if I take that for offspec?” Nobody minded. I have a tanking shield.

“The WoW gods!” pushy paladin proclaimed. “They’re trying to tell you!”

I queued for another random, this time winding up in Gundrak. The only remarkable thing about this Gundrak run was that, firstly, the paladin tank was pretty tough to heal. In an “OMG why is she taking so much damage it’s just trash”  kind of way. We went on like this for a little ways, myself not understanding, but not having time to look at her gear (can’ttalkhealingguys). I couldn’t even remark on it or ask her what was up because I just had to be continuously healing her. I can’t work in these conditions! Anyway, it dawned on me, long after the first boss and somewhere near the trash before the “I’m a purple mojo, no wait, I’m a construct” boss.

She was level 74. The trash in Gundrak is 77, and the bosses are 78. There’s a reason they were beating the everloving snot out of her. That she was even able to hold aggro on them was impressive to me, and I told her so. The whole group loved her, we made it through without any problems…and a tanking ring dropped. Everyone greeded on it. “Does anyone mind if I take that for offspec?” I asked again. Nobody did. If the loot gods have a message for me, I’m not listening.

Unfortunately, presently I’m conflicted. Actually I’m not conflicted at all, I’m decided. Experience gains from Northrend dungeons is the pits. There, I said it. I can do a whole instance like Gundrak, and it’ll net me two bars or something. I can do three quests and get the same. So I’ve quested in some strategic spots to creep my way to level 80 – Zul’drak, for a few quest rewards. These were necessary quest rewards, primarily because…

I disenchanted my pants. Yes. In an effort to make room, I said, “Oh, look at these crappy green pants,” crush, crush, sparkly magic dust, and then later I went to heal something. “…where are my pants?”

So I had to quest to find a new pair of pants. I also want the Argent Crusade folks to love me because they offer some good pants to wear at level 78, with a socket even. Things To Cover My Rear are a primary concern for me, you see. And they also have a ring I can wear once I’m Exalted with them and 80. I don’t know how much of this gear will be obsolete, but I’d really like to minimize the amount of ilevel 200 crafted gear I’ll need. I did buy some BoEs, but it seems that largely, the gear from normal instances is aimed at letting you move into heroics, if you have enough of it, right? This could be a misconception on my part, but I feel that with a solid tank I shouldn’t need too much in the way of additional fancy sparklies of the crafted variety. More on that when I get to eighty and get crushed.

And it will happen soon, oh yes. I quested through a bit of Icecrown yesterday (I wanted the Cannoneer’s Fuselighter, and also to hear Tirion shout “THE TIME OF THE ARGENT CRUSADE IS NOW. Fight them with the fire of a thousand burning suns in your heart!” or similar).

So, to make a long story short: I’d like to be 80! It would take a zillion pugs between 77 and 80 without any questing to do it. Shiny paladin heals are fun. Here are some search results from this week:

helmet dropped in scarlet monastery: This is a good thing, isn’t it? I’m not sure why you had to google it. Did you feel guilty? It dropped and then I ROLLED ON IT. That makes you, you know, someone who runs instances. It’s cool.

stuck outside maraudon of instance dead: You have to head towards the cave. Then run in circles awhile. Head towards the colour of crystals you were doing. In my case, this was usually purple.

scarlet monastery lost in graveyard: I’m really sorry, but you’re beyond help. You’re worse than I am, and I’m pretty bad.

underwear outside pants: You can thank Vid’s earlier, dubious fashion choices for this bizarre search result.

Oh, the shame.

ninja! shadowfang keep: I think this is my favourite search result, somewhat related to the one below it. I was talking about the sneaky orcs in Shattered Halls, but of course it would lead to people indignant about loot ninjas in their groups. It’s the exclamation point that makes it, I think. It conveys a sense of shock and resentment. There! Was! A! Ninja!

shattered halls ninjas: I’d say, “Don’t worry, you’ll run it again and get the same loot,” but even I only ran Shattered Halls once, so I’m very sorry for your troubles.

biggest ninja: It wasn’t me, I swear.

things you’re not supposed to notice
: In my case, it was a chipper rogue I wasn’t supposed to notice, but I like that it’s bringing conspiracy theorists here, maybe. There are so many things you aren’t supposed to notice! Thoughtcrime is death. “Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they they have rebelled they cannot become conscious,” etc.

tank map of gnomer?
: Cassandri made a really spiffy one.

“This place was designed to get players familiar with raid snares and effects. They went a little overboard.”

So I bucked up, went ahead and tanked my first instance as a paladin the other day. First I hemmed and hawed, and wasted time in Ironforge for a bit. Did I have water? Yes. Were all of my abilities on my bars? Yes. Was I ready for this? I didn’t know. I queued specifically for Scarlet Monastery: Cathedral because I wanted an instance I knew well, that was very linear and hard to get lost in, and also I was highish level for it so it’d be a little easier on me in terms of not going splat if I made a poor pull.

I think it went pretty well. Nobody died, the people at the end said “good group” even though it was one of those eerily silent runs. I’m beginning to understand now why tanks are so seldom chatty. Or if they are chatty tanks, they’re either a) very, very good or b) very, very bad. I just can’t concentrate on “ohwhereisthatmobgoingheythatone’sacastergetoverhereyou” as well as “How about that local sports team?” I often have to repeat things to my husband that are said in guild or raid chat because he misses them entirely. It all begins to make sense.

So I tanked, rewards were reaped, the queue was instantaneous (no kidding). However – I don’t think I’ll do it again most probably. Not for some time, if ever. This is for a few reasons.

1) It’s just so stressful to me. My heart was pounding and I was tense the whole time. Yes, I know, it would probably get better if I practiced it but I’m not sure if I want to. It isn’t what comes naturally to me, and honestly just wasn’t a lot of fun. Understand I’m not saying “Tanking is no fun! How can you tanks do this,” etc. but rather, tanking isn’t very much fun for me. Not in pugs. Maybe later on, with friends, if I cobble together a tanking set and am at 80 – then sure. It’s not that I couldn’t learn to do it acceptably well. But why do something that isn’t fun?

2) I made this character to play as a healer while leveling. Sure, it doesn’t mean I can’t try other things, but predominantly she’s a healer. That’s what I’d like to do, and I’m having a lot of fun doing that.

The only argument for tanking is that my tanking pants are actually just that – pants. With only a slight gap at the top. My healing pants are shorts. I managed to score a pair of plate healing legs(!) from a Helpful Satchel today, so I have honest-to-goodness heavy plate boots.

With shorts. I look like I wandered off of a nudist beach and stole a tank’s boots and made off with them.

But not before I welded them so that they don’t cover my hooves, and are in fact plate leggings. Because that’s how we draenei roll.

Scarlet Monastery was a few days ago, and since I just wasn’t feeling the tanking thing, I resolved to login when I had some time and just wait out the healing queue. I wasn’t disappointed at all – in one “pugging session” I ran Maraudon Purple Crystals (twice), Maraudon Orange Crystals, Zul’Farrak, and finally Maraudon Pristine Waters. I’m level 46 now, and about halfway to forty-seven. The Purple Crystals Punishment should be over – since the instance is now green to me, I doubt I’ll get it very much. It’s good to get so much pugging done. The bad thing about it is that much of it starts to blend together in my mind. A pug is a pug is a pug, right?

I’ve determined that I’m not a fan of Purple Crystals. The title is a quote from my tank when someone complained about the instance (“Not this place AGAIN?”) and I remarked that it had diseases, magic effects, and stacking poisons. The rogue added, “And roots and snares!” (At least one of the roots is a magic effect though, I know ’cause I’ve been dispelling it). I don’t mind doing a lot of dispelling, really, except that it was seriously draining my mana. There was a very marked difference between the earlier Purple runs and the Orange run I did later, as well as Pristine Waters. I barely had to drink at all during the latter two runs. The good news now is that I have a new rank of water! The time before you can drink new water but desperately need it is so frustrating. If they want to speed up leveling (or leveling via pugs), they should just increase the amount of mana returned from the various ranks of waters/beverages.

I run into a fair number of people who are leveling just using the LFD, honestly. They’re not all writing blogs about it but many are doing it. The tank during our Orange run was very insistent that he needed to get to Celebras for his quest. We’d actually killed this boss during earlier explorations I’d done (a pug that wandered from Purple into Orange) and I had no idea there was a quest involved. Further research reveals the convoluted and somewhat sordid history of Maraudon. Father and mother of the centaur? I had no idea.

Anyway, so some folks are still taking the time to do pre-instance quest chains, other folks laugh and say “Questing? Who does that anymore?” I’d like to do some of them but often end up with little time to pug at all, and less time to do quest chains. I am going to try to do the ones for Sunken Temple, though. I like them. Beginning with Yeh’kinya and his screecher spirits, the next step requires Zul’Farrak and I usually forget this and end up having to go back after the fact. So if I start doing that now, I’ll be set. There’s also a class-specific quest for Sunken Temple soonish. I know the mage version rewarded a very worthy trinket, I’m not sure about the paladin version though. I’ll be sure to write about it when I do know, although I’m certain there are paladins wiser than I who may comment and already know!

This has been a fairly dry post, I’m afraid, mostly because nobody has done anything ridiculous in any of my pugs. They’ve largely been quiet and relaxed. Actually, the Zul’Farrak pug was the most fun I’ve had in awhile. First of all, I love ZF as an instance. I’ve always liked it. It was the first instance I honest-to-goodness healed back on the day with my priest. Someone from my guild at the time asked if I’d be willing to heal it, though I was only level forty, and I agreed. I remember it as a vague blur up until the part with the event at the pyramid – I really had no idea what was going on, and my guildie was yelling, “DRINK!” and I drank in-between pulls. It was thrilling and scary, and it’s still one of the game moments I remember most. It’s a far cry from waltzing in yesterday and pulling all of those mobs at one time – though the tank did surprise me and I had to use Lay on Hands. I’ve been back many times since the first time I went there, I’ve been run-through, I’ve run other people through, I recently stealthed through with my druid just to reach the Elder by Gahz’rilla’s pool. And I still get a thrill of anticipation reaching the top of those steps to hear the executioner yell, “Let the executions begin!”

Good company also doesn’t hurt. The tank was really nice and competent. At the end, the whole group stuck around pulling extra trash just so that I could finish the Troll Temper quest that someone had thoughtfully shared. It’s a far cry from the “me me me” attitude you run into sometimes in these places, and I was pretty grateful. It’s definitely helping add to my general feeling of “Gosh, I like Zul’Farrak.”

What do you remember from your old-world instances? Do you have favourites, and if so, why? Is it something in particular that happened there, or you just like the ambiance, or a particular quest? Tell me about it!

I tend to really enjoy troll instances. I’m looking forward to Sunken Temple as well. And if this has been a dry entry in my pugging career, rest assured, it’ll pick up soon. After all – I’m not so many levels away from starting to pug with the Death Knights.

p.s. –  I misspelled “Maraudon” as “Mauradon” all through my last entry and my entry’s tags. You’re all very kind not to have pointed it out and laughed at me. And to think I kept wondering, “Why do people keep calling it ‘Mara’?”

p.p.s. – Recent search terms people have used to find this blog:

sadism and masochism – I don’t think it’s the kind you were thinking of.

where is graveyard if you die in blackfathom – Surprisingly not far, I think, but I didn’t wipe there so my memory is vague.

paladin mystical pauldrons of elements – Yes, wear these if you are a paladin healer. If not, they are not meant for you, oh retribution or protection paladin.

blackfathom deeps: i cant jump the stone – I’m sorry. You need to get some platforming practice. It sort of feels like you’ll be jumping too late, but you aren’t. Try using your mouse to move (hold both buttons down) instead of WASD to do this. It might help if you are only using your left hand to hit the all-important jump button.

But I thought this shield was just supposed to give me stats.

I have a pugging paladin conundrum.

I waited more than thirty minutes in the queue for my first pug today. Apparently 40-50 isn’t a popular level range to be at, or pugging in this range is unpopular (What, people don’t want to go to Mauradon? I’m shocked and appalled!) or – I’m not sure what’s going on, frankly, but it makes me irritable. I tend to have a habit of mailbox AFKing on all my characters which makes my /played time an inaccurate representation. I don’t mind chatting with guildies and taking it easy a little bit, generally. But when I get time to log on for a little pally pugging, that’s what I want to do. If I wanted to wait thirty minutes, I’d be going as DPS.

I know, it’s a horrible sense of entitlement. I am a healer, thus I deserve instant queue times. I know that can’t always be the case. But I don’t want leveling Vid to be a project that takes half a year. The character is just over two months old as of this writing. Things were much quicker initially over the holidays. I had ample time to spend with the pugging. My time now is more limited, and I’d like to see a bit of progress.

The way I see it, I have three options. The wait time in queue is caused invariably by lack of a tank. I can either:

1) Suck it up and wait the queue times out, occupying myself with a combination of auction house, running around for flight points, whatever.

2) Abandon the experiment and begin questing, possibly in conjunction with waiting out those queues. Eventually the pug will commence, but I won’t be twiddling my thumbs in-between times and will level much, much faster. This is appealing for that reason, but ignores the “I’m leveling my holy paladin to level 80 using the LFD tool.”

3) Finally pay for dual-spec, figure out what I’m doing, hope I don’t get too lost, and hop in there to do the tanking myself. As with previous option, this negates the “my holy paladin” portion of my commitment, but that seems like a lesser concern to me.

I’ve done a little bit of tanking. My level 78 warrior, before I gave her away to my husband, was actually leveled from forty on as Protection. I didn’t do very much actual tanking with her – I can count the number of instances I tanked on one hand – but I did level with other characters and practice holding aggro from them. I did have macros for things and I did gather up huge packs of mobs and kill them. (That’s my judge of how serious I am about something in WoW. I had a macro for that character? It was Serious Business.) It was pretty fun. The biggest trouble I have with tanking is the intense pressure to be good and also to lead the group. I’d say that tanks have even higher expectations to fulfill than the healers who keep them alive. I gave the warrior away when I realized that I would probably never play her with any regularity – my biggest regret was that we were still on Moon Guard (RP server) at the time, and I enjoyed the character herself but it didn’t seem worth it to waste a perfectly good 80. My husband, by contrast, was so excited to have a second warrior! Another tank! He really is a true believer that the only thing better than a warrior is another warrior.

I did also dabble briefly in bear tanking, which incidentally (at least in my limited 5-man experience) was a great deal easier than warrior tanking. I could lock down solid aggro really quite quickly as a bear, whereas playing a warrior it felt like it took a great deal more work. Of course that’s anecdotal, and I don’t claim to be good at playing either spec or class. The convenience with the bear was that I’d been picking up off-spec feral gear over months of running 5 man heroics, odds and ends that nobody else wanted, and so my tanking set was good. I would’ve let my gear almost tank Ulduar, at the time. I don’t claim that I could have tanked Ulduar but my gear could have.

Anyway, to make a long story short(er), I went ahead and got dual-spec for Vid, made a tanking spec I think doesn’t suck incredibly, found some glyphs, looked at the gear that I had (shortly after having disenchanted a bunch of tanking things… “I’ll never use these for tanking, ahaha.”) So my gear isn’t the greatest, but it may be adequate. I just need to arrange my action bars and then dive in. If the tanking is a horrible failure and seems beyond hope, I can always abandon the experiment of pugging exclusively to 80 and do some questing to get past the 40-50 hump. I’d rather not do that, though. I’ve made it this far! If I can get to Outland, there’s certain to be hundreds of DK tanks who need a healer.

Before reaching this decision, I ran Mauradon (Purple Crystals, naturally) 2.5 times today. The first time was completely fine. We had a very competent paladin tank, he pulled quickly and it flowed well. When you know where you’re going and everything is carefully done, the whole run takes about twenty minutes. It’s the new Scarlet Monastery, Graveyard. Now with more poisons and disease! That stack. Did I mention the way they stack?

I realized, because I am pro like that, that I had not yet trained level 42 (whoops) so I could learn my fancy new cleansing spell that gets rid of magic debuffs also. I’m very excited about this.

Purple Crystal run number one was very easy and uneventful. Number two was likewise, because we had the same tank, although I got the impression that the other people had just come out of some kind of harrowing, soul-crushing pug experience.

“I hope this isn’t like the last group,” the rogue whimpered. I told him that the tank was quite good and he was immediately reassured. You see what I mean about all the pressure being on the tank? You can have three warlocks, a healer with no AoE heals, but if you’ve got a good tank, nobody worries. You can have terrible DPS, people who pull extra packs (that starts to involve the healer a bit more) but if you have a good tank who makes sure to wait for their healer to drink when they need it – you’re generally prepared and won’t have any problems.

Incidentally, I have to digress here: one of my search terms this week was “We had a good hunter,” in quotations. Was it someone looking for examples that such a thing exists? Or were they so shocked when it happened they wanted to see if someone else had experienced it, too? (I jest, hunters. I love you and your furry pets, as long as their names are not “PetWussy.” If you’re that hunter, you can get bent.)

My third Mauradon, the one that accounted for the 0.5, was not so great. Our tank dropped group almost immediately, without a word. Thanks for faking us out, tank! I hope you have much joy in Oculus if you ever get there. So we were left with a Fury warrior, and a feral druid. I asked the druid if he’d be willing to tank (pretty decent overlap in the feral tree, at least this level he should be able to handle it.) He was a little hesitant but agreed to give it a go, but I could tell he was hating every minute of it, and mobs were all over the place. In a few minutes he suddenly “had to go,” was very apologetic, but I couldn’t blame him. I turned eyelashes on the Fury warrior, but no dice. He had no dual-spec and clearly no intention of taking his hands off his great big two-hander.

The group broke up. But before that happened… This is the part of the story when faced with a series of uneventful, mundane pugs, I make sure I have something to write about.

For anyone who isn’t familiar with the first little bit of Mauradon: Now With More Purple Crystals – you’re so lucky! Now picture a circular room. There’s a cavern in the centre, and a ledge that runs all the way around the outside of the cavern. It is possible to just run up to this ledge and drop off – there’s trash at the bottom. Otherwise, you can follow the ledge around the outside of the circle to kill the trash that is there, and a ramp leads down into the grotto.

I thought that the bear tank was going to jump down from the ledge. All of the tanks have done so up until this point. It’s not very far, and it skips some time spent clearing trash. I edged a little closer to the ledge, trying to show him the right way with my subtle inclination towards the grotto. I was about to ask him directly, when a terrible, terrible thing happened.

The imps at the bottom of the cavern saw me.

“DHSLAHHDKSLJ,” they said impishly, and tried to run towards me. Being at the bottom of the cave, they couldn’t reach me, so they did the only logical thing. They headed for the ramp.

Between me and them, I’m afraid there was something like four packs of four mobs apiece. I’m guessing here. I watched the group of imps sprint up the ramp. I watched them run by their fellows on the ledge with an almost comically ponderous slowness. I’m not sure if the rest of the group had any idea what was in store for us, as my face flushed with guilt/shame.

“I know that when monsters run by OTHER monsters it tends to alert the other monsters, but maybe just this one time, they won’t see the other monsters. Or they will, but they’ve got better, other monster things to do…”

The imps were joined by satyrs, and still more imps. The mob train gained speed and momentum, like a snowball rolling downhill in a Bugs Bunny cartoon, ultimately intending to flatten me and my hapless party members.

We all had eleventy billion stacks of poison, instantly. And disease. There were so many icons on the health bars I could barely see them. The poor druid did his best. I really think he didn’t understand what had happened. The fury warrior said, as the group neared us, “Wga!” I tried to keep us healed, I really did. The tank tried to tank all those mobs, he really did.

Our fate was sealed the moment those first imps started to dance towards me. Lying there amid the rubble, the fury warrior clarified his earlier statement. “Wow lol,” he said. “Yeah, wow,” I agreed, desperately hoping that nobody had seen how much it was completely my fault.

Yes, that’s right, I didn’t even own up! Why? I was laughing too hard. I laughed so hard I wheezed, and even writing this I can still see the twenty mobs barreling towards us and I laugh some more. I wish I’d had the foresight to take screenshots. I do feel bad for wiping the group, but I feel I made up for it at least marginally. Since nobody else could find the way back into Mauradon, I ran back and rezzed them all.

So hey, I have sense of direction enough to find my way back into Mauradon twice! It isn’t a fluke. I am completely ready to tank, because if I kill my group horribly again… at least I’ll be able to help us recover from the wipe.

p.s. – I unabashedly stole my “pally tanking tag” from Svenn.

p.p.s. – I caved to peer pressure and joined Twitter. If you’re into that kind of thing.