Tag Archives: Scarlet Monastery – Library

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 of  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.

SM: Did you know it can also mean ‘sadism’ and ‘masochism’?

My SM-go-round has indeed progressed now from Graveyard to Library. I was so stunned by this turn of events, in fact, that initially I didn’t know where I was. I stumbled blindly down the stairs and almost into the first pair of Scarlets. They were happy to see me.

Fortunately no paladins died as a result of this overzealous exuberance, but let this be a lesson to you: sometimes, to blog about the stupid pugger, you must become him/her.

I was quite happy to trade Graveyard for Library, because it’s an infinitely more interesting instance. I can’t help remembering how epic all the SM instances felt to me the first time I saw them, and before I really knew much about what instances were. Now, they’re still pretty short but definitely more challenging than the previous ones. There are opportunities for LoS pulls, tightly packed trash, runners, mayhem! My runs for the most part went quite well, except for one thing; SM seems to be bringing out more jerks than the other instances. I’m not sure why this is. I’m not going to detail every single PUG I have at this point, because it would take me years to write this blog and they wouldn’t be happy ones. Instead, I will summarize: I ran SM Library five times since my last post. Of those five times, these are the interesting things that happened:

Some people don’t understand the concept of ‘don’t pull crap when your healer is nowhere near you.’ Or rather, the same tank who kept attacking and then turning his back on mobs to run to more mobs and getting dazed (to say nothing of making that shield he’s carrying less than worthless) – that same tank couldn’t grasp that when it comes to the narrow corridors just before Doan, it’s maybe better not to run to the left and act like you’re going to fight those mobs – and then head over to the right to get THOSE mobs… leaving your healer trying to reach you, but on the other side of a big pillar. On the occasion, I remarked, “In retrospect, it might not have been such a good idea to pull all of those mobs and then break LoS with your healer.” The tank said nothing, the mage laughed though. (No matter which guise I’m wearing, I love my fellow dress-wearing people.)

So there was that guy. In a different run, I realized I have not yet set up my Vuhdo bars to show pets. This is a gripe I have with Vuhdo, btw. I love it in most other respects. But why is the option to show pet bars hidden away in some sub-sub-option menu that I can’t remember? And why can’t I change things while in combat? It’s easy enough for me to keep spamming Flash of Light while I browse through healing addon menus, and I’ve done it before with others. Vuhdo is kind of like my Mom. “Pay attention to what you’re doing!” or maybe better- “What do you mean you can’t find it? If I stop what I’m doing to go and look, and it’s there…”

Anyway, so I realized I wasn’t displaying pets when one of the people in the group emoted /crying. I looked around blankly. What? Then I realized, “Hm, it’s the hunter who is crying. Oh, look at that, his pet has low health. Perhaps I let it die. I knew I was forgetting something. But I can’t open Vuhdo to make it display pets. I’ll just target it manually, and…WHAT. THE. HELL.”

My friends, that pet did not receive a heal. Not at that moment, and not for the duration of the instance. Why? I’m going to tell you now. That innocent-seeming, non-descript Darkshore tiger’s name?


And that about sums up my SM Lib experiences so far. The fifth one I actually did today, and it marked a turning point in my pugging career: I got irritated enough that I dropped group. Yes, I left the pug. Why? Well, it was an accumulation of things.

It started with the warrior who, while well-meaning, didn’t really know what he was doing. And the whiny mage. We were on the second pull and he was bawling, “WHY U GO SO FAST I NEED MANA.”  He’s apparently labouring under the illusion that tanks give a crap about the DPS’ mana – I can’t even get them to care about my mana! I suggested that he might want to try drinking before engaging the mobs, so he can top up while we’re fighting. He said, “I don’t have time, but thanks for the advice.” If you don’t have time to sit and drink after combat drops, there’s not much I can do for you. But whatever, I roll with it.

In the little courtyard there, things start to get mildly hairy. The hunter and the warlock are bound and determined that we should move fast, very fast, despite the warrior’s ineptitude at handling this speed. Yes, they are pulling for him. I hear tanks really like that, right? One less thing they have to worry about.

So we’re dealing with trash packs the tank hasn’t even seen, I presume. Like the Scarlet priest that latched onto me after the warlock pulled him but he liked my healing aggro. The poor thing thought that Smite is a viable option, and so he was trying very hard to kill me. Smite. Smite. I’m thinking, “The tank is going to see this mob here casting at me. Any time. Annnytime now.” It’s when he starts to move towards Houndmaster Whosits there that I get a bit twitchy. I suppose that I could have healed the group with an angry caster on my back, but really, should I have to? I ask to have the mob removed from my business area. The group manages that and we carry on, blundering through the instance. I’ve fixed my hotkeys a little bit so it’s easier for me to cast Hand of Salv and Blessing of Protection, and I’m glad I did because this group needs it. The mage tanked at least half of it, at least the ones he wasn’t frost novaing in the middle of nowhere.

Meantime, the hunter is still experiencing SM rage. “Pull, fuck,” he says, and “Fucking GO,” among others. I can only imagine what he’s like in heavy cross-town traffic. The warlock tells him to chill out. The hunter tells the warlock, “Bro, you can go eat a fat dick.” Things are heading south fast. I didn’t say anything about this at the time, figuring we’re almost done the instance, I’ll just wait it out. But then we hit The Last Room.

I’m beginning to loathe this room. Between the mobs that silence, runners, tightly packed groups  – and let’s face it, PUGS – this room is rife with potential for disaster and it doesn’t disappoint. We’re finishing off the second to last pack, I think things are going well, and then I hear it: “You will not defile these mysteries!”

Mysteries? We aren’t defiling any mysteries! At least not until we’re done dealing with your flunkys… But of course, someone couldn’t wait that long. Someone thought we’d get done faster if they pulled Doan while we weren’t yet “done.” Someone was very wrong, and I add another death to my sidebar.

I say, “Seriously, who pulled Doan while we were still fighting the last trash pack?”

Warlock says, “You.”

“Oh really. From the middle of the room, I pulled Doan? He must have liked my face.”

Warlock: “lol he did.”

I decide to balance the weight of the oh-so-valuable Tumultuous Necklace [Of The Monkey] I expect to get at the end of the run, and just cut my losses. Before I’ve even run back from the graveyard, I type back, “It was either you or the Tourette’s hunter that pulled him, and I have better things I could be doing with my time. Enjoy pulling the last room and the boss with a different healer.”

Yes, I ragequit a group for SM Library. It doesn’t bode well for the future. In my defense, it was nearly lunchtime.

No, I’m Really A Paladin, I swear by the Naaru. Oh, you aren’t supposed to swear by the Naaru? Well sh**.

In other news, the armory has all these cool new features! I’ve added an RSS feed to the sidebar to show you all the badass things I do, like becoming a professional expert or equipping some awesome loot. Which I actually don’t do; the lastany loot I was excited about was this ugly green belt in Blackfathom Deeps. I’m not sure if the code for including an image of a character works in WordPress, but I’ve taken a picture for you all anyway.

I have a confession to make. I’m not a paladin at all.

At least, you’d never know it to look at poor Vid, in her awkward ‘Am I wearing my underwear over my pants ‘ pants (at least they’re mail) and her hand-me-down shaman gear. There is no spellpower heirloom plate. The boots are cloth, I’m reasonably certain the wrists and gloves are cloth. She’s got weenie-roasting forks on her shoulders, and she can’t even say “They help me keep in touch with the elements,” because the only element she knows anything about is randomness. Possibly an element of stupidity.

In all of my Holy glory, I’m afraid I look more like Stormwind’s bag lady, Queen of Dumpster Diving. I’m sure half the pugs I do don’t know the difference – they probably just figure I’m the world’s worst shaman – never drops totems – and the other half just wants me to give them Any Blessing Other Than The Blessing I Just Gave Them.

My biggest motivator to make it to 80, really, is just so that I can put on clothes that fit more with my notion of the shining paragon of virtue I envision paladins to be. Outland still lies between me and that goal, though – I can’t wait to see what kind of radioactive colors I can put on when I’m level 58! Unfortunately, my weenie-forks and vest will be with me all the way. Unless I snap and go ret before then, which I vow I will not do, if only for the sake of pure, cussed stubbornness.

Oh, the shame.