Bones and Brambles

These aren't the bones of the party members I didn't heal, honest.

I ran Razorfen Downs for the first time the other day. I’ve since been hoping it doesn’t pop up again, not because I didn’t like it or my run was awful, but because it guarantees I’ll have an hour-long run. By contrast, today I had a spare hour or so to do a bit o’ pally pugging, and I ran Library and then Armory. The length of time is the same, but the difference is that I could have stopped after one if I hadn’t felt like continuing.

RFD was so uneventful that it really left me with nothing much to say. It’s like Razorfen Kraul, redux – the most exciting part was the skeletons all dancing atop a giant pile of bones. The Scourge makes a sinister appearance here with a bit of foreshadowing, and we got to fight our first (but certainly not our last) Lich. I was thinking about this briefly today during my runs, as I was wondering what I’ll do with the holy spec at end-game. I’ll want to have a spec that’s focused on healing 5-mans, undoubtedly. But – will Vid pug raids? I suppose only time will tell.

Meantime, I’m actually beginning to feel that whoever implied that holy pally leveling would be painfully boring was very wrong. Sure, I only have two healing spells so far, and no HoTs, but the utility that a paladin brings is pretty complex and engaging. For instance: (no pun intended), at the beginning of a run I have to buff each group member with an appropriate Blessing. This requires a certain understanding of other classes, what they value, and who is present in the group. If there’s one or more warriors, I give the melee Kings because I assume the warrior will be using Battle Shout. Since I have improved wisdom now, I tend to give that out to casters (and myself) instead of Kings. If there’s another pally, I’d hope that they’d use Kings/Might accordingly. And that’s all in the first ten seconds or so. After that, the tank pulls. He/she might be under level for the instance and so one of the DPS is pulling hard – a great opportunity for Hand of Salvation. The tank gets rooted? (Plenty of Frost spells that do this in RFD, by the way). It’s Hand of Freedom time! I’m still learning this myself but I have plenty of “Oh crap” buttons available to me. I can use my signature pally bubble. If that’s on CD and I don’t have Forbearance, I can use Divine Protection. I realized I’ve been using Hand of Protection for myself – but this isn’t the right call; since it is a targeted spell, I should save that for the overzealous DPSer if need be. Meantime, between aiming my Holy Light to hit as many group members as I can, choosing a mob to put a Judgment on, and using Hammer of Justice to stop runners – I’m generally kept plenty busy.

When I’m not drinking, that is. Which reminds me, I added a new stat to the sidebar there: “Beverages consumed.” I’m not sure if anyone necessarily cares about this besides me, but it is an interesting testament to unique requirements of pug-specific leveling. That’s an average of about 9.51 drinks per instance. Needless to say, with all the instancing that I do, I can’t go in without plenty. I would use them all if I weren’t buying more all the time, too. I generally run with at least 60 stacks of whatever in my bags, and I have no problem sitting and drinking for only a few seconds if I have to while the tank checks things out – I’d rather use more drinks than run out of mana at a crucial time.

That said, it’s safe to surmise that the only real ‘mana’ problem Vid has is frequent visits to the restroom.

Don’t mind me, I’ll just duck behind this bush

This reminds me that I wanted to mention a few add ons I use that are specific or at least related to my pugging. I also started work on a series of posts – a lowbie pally healing guide, for anyone else who might want it. I’m going to take my time with that, it’s more of a side-project for any brave souls who might find it useful eventually.

Meantime, here are a few add ons that may help any aspiring pugger.

Free Refills: Recommended to me by a guildie, this is a fabulous add-on. You set it up for whichever reagents or other things you need to maintain. In my case, I tell it that I always want to have 60 Moonberry Juice to hand. When I visit any vendor who sells what I want, it automatically purchases enough to bring me up to that set amount. No clicking, no fuss, and more importantly, no forgetting. I use this at 80 with my other characters as well; to make sure I’ve always got enough Arcane Dust and reagents for teleports and portals.

SellJunk: Another great add-on, really for leveling period and not just pugging. I’ve found it particularly useful when I leave an instance, my bags laden with boar fur, dog toes and whatever else I saw fit to bring out of there. It puts a new button on the vendor interface that just says “Sell Junk,” when you click it, it automatically vendors all of your grey items. I’m all about time saving. I know that there are other add-ons that will sell these without having to click a button, but I prefer to have the choice. Firstly, because I notice them all there in a list of things I sold, and secondly so that I don’t accidentally sell some neat grey item I wanted to keep.

Baggins: Inventory management has always been an issue for me, and it feels like my bags will never have enough space. I like Baggins because it assigns categories to your stuff and visually delineates them: “Trade Goods,” “Equipment,” etc., in addition to the standard colour indicator for item rarity. It still feels “baggish” to me, which is the problem I had with add ons like TeaBag (har har). It just ends up looking like this huge mass of squares that makes me want to hyperventilate or throw my arms up in the air and just sell everything so I don’t have to look at it. I’ve been pretty happy with this add-on but I know there are plenty of other ones out there – if you think you’ve got a better one, don’t hesitate to suggest it in the comments!

Pally Power: I’ll admit, shamefacedly, that I downloaded this because everyone insists it is a paladin ‘must-have,’ but I don’t use it and have no idea how it works. Some guildies told me that it doesn’t work until you have the greater, 30 minute version of the Blessings, but I don’t know if that’s true or not. Figuring out what to do with it is on my “to-do” list, especially if it can save me some time at the beginning of an instance. For now, it’s taking up screen real-estate but not doing me much good.

“U got a weapon, dont u?”

As for my instance runs, nothing happened in RFD. SM Library was reasonably smooth up until the end when the bear tank revealed a tendency to run around the corner while the rest of the group was gawking slack-jawed at some loot. It was the first time I regretted my strong Loot Morales, because some really badass cloth BoE pants dropped. I did not need on them and let the warlock have them. My gear isn’t a problem, anyhow, and he seemed so excited about them that he immediately began Lifetapping in celebration.

The same Library run included this conversation between the shaman and the tank:

Shaman: “oom”

Tank: “melee”

Shaman: “ele”

Tank: “u got a weapon dont u?”

Shaman: “I’m a caster, wearing cloth, and you seriously want me to run in and hit things with my dagger?”

This tank has figured out the secret, clearly, to all of us whiny caster types. Forget about drinking, we have no time for that! All of you, just run in and hit things with your weapon! It has a DPS rating on it, doesn’t it? My intrepid attempts to both Judge and melee throughout that instance, by the way, amounted to a whopping 3.1 DPS. I think this is the physical equivalent of having a really pissed off cockroach hopping on your toe. It’s no big secret that meleeing is not exactly the best use of our time.

But a note about people and Recount. I run the mod myself, mostly because I have it with my characters at 80… not because the DPS that people are doing at level 20+ actually matters. But some people feel that it does, and they make sure the rest of us hear about it. So I’m using a sly way of deflecting would-be e-peeners with their Recount scores. You know the ones I mean. They’re doing over 100 DPS at level 35 and by gosh they want you to know. They want you to know very badly. So they spam the recount scores in order to boast. Or maybe so we can tell our friends (or our blog) about them. And I go ahead and I STEAL that spotlight. I immediately and gleefully call attention to MY HOT DPS.

“That’s right, you all fear my 3.1 DPS!” Generally people laugh, nobody says anything about Mr. Super E-Peen, or tries to make anyone else feel bad about their lower DPS, or whatever. But more importantly, it moves the conversation away from the Recount anyhow – all part of my cunning plan. Go forth, healers, and make sure everyone knows: Your DPS is the most important number there.

At Least She’s Got a Shield

Armory is a pretty great little instance, I like it. It has some fun pulls, fireworks, this guy at the end with no shirt but a massive helmet (what’s his shtick?). It has much going for it. I also like any instance with a locked door at the end, for the simple reason that no stupid running mob can charge in there and aggro him. By the way, that IS what happened in one of my aforementioned SM runs, and it definitely happened again today. This time we killed him though.

If I’m ever inclined to complain about the way my gear looks again, please remind me to shut up, after I direct your attention to my poor tank from today. Name cropped to protect the innocent… I don’t think she’s choosing to look that way, she’s a victim ofΒ  the unfortunate way that Blizz made mail armour look on females at this level. I actually have no idea if her player is really a woman. But… but.

Just looking at her makes me wince. She’s blocking sword swings with what now? I may not know whether my underwear goes on the inside or outside of my pants, but at least I have pants.

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

23 responses to “Bones and Brambles

  1. “And I go ahead and I STEAL that spotlight. I immediately and gleefully call attention to MY HOT DPS.”

    — Excellent advice! As a holy priest it gets really obnoxious when the group can’t move forward (or even kicks someone!) for Recount scores.

    • I know this is an old post, I did read it when it was a bit more recent, but I have great fun calling attention to my leet pally dps when I’m healing. I don’t do it on my disco priest, because I regularly beat dps on the meters if they aren’t pulling aggro and needing heals, because I can do about 1.2k dps in heroics while healing. I’d switch to shadow and heal from there but I can never tell when I’m gonna need my disco panic buttons.

  2. You can usually cleanse off frost-nova-y roots. No need to get fancy with Hand of Freedom.

  3. Pally Power is really handy for raids. If you’ve ever been in a pug raid with four paladins and had to wait endlessly while people complained about missing the blessing of their choice, you’ll really come to appreciate the way it easily lets you sort blessings for the whole raid.

    However, I’ll agree that it’s not needed while levelling. You CAN set up minor blessings for everyone, but for a five-man that’s pretty much more hassle than it’s worth and normal buffing is much easier.

    • One thing PallyPower *will* be very handy for is the neverending runs of Blackrock. Once you’ve set up how you want to buff each class, you can one-hit buff the whole group by repeatedly clicking on the main button, which can be handy when your buffs run out as you’re running from a>b, chasing the tank.

      You can also right-click on individual names in the configuration screen to specify per-person buffs — which is handy if you have melee DPS of the same class as the tank and want to give them Might instead of Kings.

  4. Jason McCullough

    “…..secondly so that I don’t accidentally sell some neat grey item I wanted to keep.”

    What the devil would that be? To my knowledge every single grey item is at best a slight armor upgrade.

  5. Meter whores are the bane of my existence, even at level 80! I mean, meters in heroics? What’s the point of that, I wonder?

    At lower levels it’s just silly, unless of course you happen as the healer to be above one of the others. This has occasionally happened to me (especially on the shaman, for whom chain heal and chain lightning occasionally get confused when running randoms with an overgeared group…), and, okay, any dps’er really ought to be able to do more damage than the healer. Otherwise, however, I wish people would keep the peen-o-meter in their pantaloons.

    Just saying.

  6. Now that my pally is tanking since level 40 (finally reach level 48 yesterday) I found that meter whores shut up. You see, except when my Ret Pally guildies come along (who are so good at dps and pulling aggro it scares me) I am always at the #1 spot.

    That’s right, mr 220 dps at level 46 – I had 300 dps, indeed. Because I hit everything, all the time.

    I am having a blast of a time though, tanking classic dungeons and actually improving (having a full-time raid pally tank there to watch over my shoulder and critique is awesome) as well as hitting all the common snags…

    No mana?

    I feel you.

    When I go to ZF or ST I make monsterpulls that make dps fill their pants, just to get more mana. I take so little damage that healing me is boring and thus no mana from that. This character will have a heartburn from his beverages consumed.

  7. About Pally Power:

    It works with lesser blessings too – it is little use in 5mans, but practicing now can make using it in raids easier.

    Basically, when you right-click the little green orb you can set a standard blessing for each class (simply hover over a blessing and mousewheel up/down). If a member of a class enters your group, it will be displayed in the main PP window. Simply right-click it to buff them. It also shows your current aura and seal – rightclick to buff.

    If a buff has run out, its class window turns red.

    That’s about it really, until you hit raids.

    • I tried to use it with my pugging ret pally (level 32 now), and it kept assigning blessings I don’t even have yet to most classes. I couldn’t figure out how to let it let me pick what i want for every class. Also, i hate it when I put Wisdom on all the casters (and usually myself), only to have the Shaman’s mana spring totem block it. Grr.

  8. No challenge in RFD? I’d have thought it would be one of the harder ones what with the gauntlet-like run before the last boss?

    Fun post though! The melee thing is of course hilarious, up until you get SoW, I guess, at which point it becomes the OTHER kind of funny, maybe?

  9. Your Wonder Woman friend is obviously trying to achieve the “chainmail bikini” esthetic.
    Otherwise “she” would be wearing a tabard & shirt.

  10. I have an 80 Alliance Pally, and am currently leveling a Belf Pally, and I find Pally Power to be extremely handy for both. Most classes have a specific buff that they want, you preset that in Pally Power, set up a hot key, hit one key multiple times and you’re done. More than that, it also helps me to remember to turn Righteous Fury off/on depending on the situation.

    Plus, it interacts with other Pallies who are also using it, and can make buffing much, MUCH less painful. I highly recommend it for any Paladin, regardless of level.

  11. @Khoram

    Strange, mine does not – it will show the blessing icon of the Greater Blessing, but will buff the lesser if you do not have it, I guess.

    As for the Shaman totems, well that is a known issue. I generally ask if they intend to put it down, and if so I use Kings on the mana users instead.

    • Yup, that’s what I do with shaman too. the problem is I’m only usually covered by the mana spring totem about 10% of the time. So I either don’t get any mana regen help or I spend all my time (and more mana) constantly rebuffing – usually to find that 5 seconds after I decide to switch back to wisdom, the shaman plunks down a totem. Argh!

  12. “He seemed so excited about them that he immediately began Lifetapping in celebration.”

    This made me LOL very hard. Bravo. πŸ™‚

  13. Ran RFD last night twice. Second time we had 3 paladins. That was one of the easiest dungeons runs I’ve ever been a part of πŸ™‚ Not much, especially the undead in the 2nd half, can stand up to 3xConsecrate and Exorcism. Only dinged 36 after I turned in the quest for killing the baddie afterwards, and already have about 3 or 4 blue plate items I can’t use for 4 more levels. Thanks RFD!

  14. So my comment comes a bit late… Sue me! My reader is overflowing right now!

    Concerning addons, you mentioned SellJunk and FreeRefills… Check out LunarSphere. It sells junk, restocks reagents/food/etc AND does so much more! It is a full on Sphere type addon, configurable for any class, complete with menus, multiple button mice compatibility, keybinding, etc.

    Whoever wrote it is AWESOME, basically. Check it out at least. I kinda recommend using a blank template and setting it up on your own, but it does generic or class specific templates also.

  15. yeah, that tank definitely has the wonder woman thing going.. reminds me of the female guards in final fantasy 9.

  16. Oh my. That picture…

  17. Pingback: The Odyssey « Pugging Pally

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