Posts Tagged Paladin

Tanking Misadventures

If you want to know just how much of a fail tank I really am, you need to see me on Lyestra.  There’s something about flailing around as a warrior that is great for destroying any WoW-related ego I have. 

I am-at least, by how I measure such things-an inexperienced tank.  I leveled my paladin as holy, only picking up tanking after acquiring a fairly decent set of gear when Kara was on farm.  I spent some time tanking a few heroics and Kara before I transferred to Azglor…where Steve was cruel and threw me into SSC OTing. 

I had my prot warrior to 80 in those days, but she never even set foot in a heroic.  Neglected alt was neglected.

When the pre-Wrath patch hit and fubar’d all my tanking gear (that oh so carefully juggled combination of tanky stats and spell power), I went back holy,only picking prot back up well into Wrath. 

I’m not sure that such a sporadic, mostly raid-based career as a perpetual OT was the best way to go.  I like to think that I don’t suck…on my paladin.  My warrior, however, seems to be a constant flail fest of lost aggro.   Maybe this is just because I’ve never geared up as a tank before.  My paladin always started with a collection of hoarded epics.  Lyestra has started from scratch so to speak, and may be suffering for it.

This shaky tanking career is probably why things like this are terrifying:

omg omg omg omg omg omg omg!  Performance anxiety, performance anxiety!  This is only an alt!  What am I doing!

I felt immensely clever for things like dropping consecrate in one alcove and then running to another so that I could easily pick up two of the three spawns right off the bat.  It doesn’t take much to make me happy, though.  >.> 

We cleared all the way through Saurfang…albiet barely.  Saurfang was one of those post-enrage, one paladin left alive, bubbled and flailing wildly type kills.  I’ll take it, though!  Thank you, Pity Buff!

Of course as fail of a tank as I am, I know that certain behavior is uncalled for.  Let’s say, for example, that you are invited to tank for a weekly raid run.  The group consists mostly of a particular guild.  The other tank, who is a member of that guild, tells you to tank the adds.

Do you politely say okay?

Do you politely say okay even while inwardly bitching about how add duty sucks sweaty donkey balls?

Either of those is fine.  The following, however, is not:

And we’re kicking you from the fucking raid!  Good night, Fivestar douchecanoe!  Thanks for calling us all typical fucking children, you typical small dicked twatwaffle!  Enjoy your wasted raid lock-out!  I only regret not turning on trade in time to wield my rapier wit against your fail whining.

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28 Comments

Friday Flowchart: Upgrading your holy paladin’s gear.

/shakes a fist at Bracers of Pale Illumination, which are in no way better than my 245 bracers

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Bubble hearth, GO!

I joke about bubble hearthing because it’s just one of those things that comes with being a paladin, but it’s not something that I do. I play on a pvp server and I’m hopelessly terrible at pvp, but instead of bubble hearthing when someone gets a jump on me, I just stick it out. I don’t recall ever using it in instances, except maybe when I’m the only one alive and there are a bunch of ugly mobs who want to give me not nice hugs. Even that’s rare because I’m stubborn and it’s easier to just die and run back than it is to make way for the instance again, at least that was the case until the new dungeon teleport system. Bubble hearthing feels really rude in a way that my beloved Divine Intervention doesn’t, even though they pretty much perform the same function in avoiding repairs.

You see, I suffer from healer guilt. I like to make jokes about letting people die to fix their stupid, but in reality I do my best to keep everyone alive because I’d feel bad if I didn’t. I don’t bail on instance groups after wipes – in part because I want to make things work, and because I would feel guilty about letting another healer stumble into a mess that I left behind. So basically, it takes some real abuse for me to throw up my hands and say “screw it”.

For the first time in a long time, I reached my breaking point. It was Drak’tharon Keep; the tank was rushing but it wasn’t anything unmanageable because RAWR PALADIN MANA POOL (/flex). But after we downed King Dred, the druid tank asks us to wait at the bottom of the stairs. His warrior friend (from the same realm and guild) repeats this, and expounds with “DON’T FOLLOW HIM, DO NOT HEAL” in all caps, I guess so we’d know he was serious. I decided to humor them, and when the druid rounds up about 4 groups and goes splat as he’s pulling them down the stairs (well out of my healing range) I laugh a little and get ready for what’s probably going to be a wipe, because it just wasn’t very likely that I’d be able to keep a dps warrior alive with four packs of angry trolls on him. Like I thought, he dies before I can even get a holy light on him, but all the while he’s freaking out in party chat.

After that he proceeded to call me a dumb cunt.

Bubble hearthing? Was totally warranted. It even felt GOOD.

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No, I have no idea how to play my class, please tell me more.

Josh wants to work on his DK’s gear, so I volunteered to tank for him-as a DPS, nothing beats having a tank buddy for insta-queues.  My paladin could still use some badge gear, as I do use her for Ulduar hard mode tanking.  

As always, I am…quite vocal while tanking.  Josh is treated to a slew of commentary, usually along the lines of “You know, I can hold the aggro on that caster over there just fine IF YOU DON’T FUCKING TOUCH IT YOU FUCKING MORON!” and “I guess the concept of waiting until I position the mobs is entirely foreign to you.”

In one particular Halls of Lightning run, I was pulling conservatively.  Not only do I tend to this out of habit, but the group had already proven that they couldn’t keep their trigger happy mitts off single mobs I was dragging.  

This does, however, often leave me faced with mana problems-I’m usually running around sans a piece of armor and using Seal of Wisdom.   This was the case in HoL, but things had gone mostly smoothly.  I say mostly because we did have some cases of Oh Look The Melee Died, but that was mostly the rogue not realizing that running out of The Bad was generally better for his health.

I would also like to note that the only time I had issues with aggro was when Josh ended up in Frost Presence.  Yet for some reason, as we’re clearing the trash to Loken, I get a whisper from the warlock.

“Did you know that Seal of Vengeance does more threat?”

I halted.  All sorts of surprise and sarcasm welled forth (“No shit?”), but I managed a polite, “I know, but I’m overgeared to the point where I have mana problems in old heroics, so  use Wisdom.”  And unable to help myself, I pointed out Vengeance is not the seal to use on trash, regardless.  Mobs don’t live long enough for the stacks to be really useful.

…so they oh so helpfully told me I should chain pull.

“Ah,” I said, “but I’ve learned I can’t always trust the DPS to behave in random heroics, making chain pulling difficult.”  I continue to boggle at how much some people struggle with the concept of letting the tank position mobs.

I got a non-committal response with a : \ face.

…then I whined to Josh that I was being told how to tank, and he initiated a vote-kick for the person.  /facepalm

I’m just wondering why the hell someone would feel compelled to try to tell me how to play when I’m not having any fucking problems.  The rogue died when all the slag mobs exploded?  Not due to threat on my part.  The DK and the rogue died on the lightning crackly boss because they can’t get out of the fucking way?  Not my problem.  I even generally held all the trash, so I’m not sure why this stranger on the internet felt compelled to tell me I was using the “wrong” seal when anyone who actually plays a fucking pally tank would know exactly why I was using Wisdom.

How about you don’t make an already timid tank second guess herself further by keeping your fucking mouth shut?

Thank you.

Oh by the way, did you know that you shouldn’t use fear in an instance?  It’s really annoying.

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27 Comments

Where are my sparklies?

Lately I feel like I do a lot of complaining about holy paladins, which is just silly because I was the one who decided to change my main from my disc priest to the holy paladin in the first place! And while I LOVE healing as a paladin (crazy, I know. I just love pushing two buttons), that doesn’t excuse that there are sometimes serious issues with it.

Yeah, I’m talking about the lack of awesome spell effects.

Look at discipline priests – Amber gets to throw out OMG PEW PEW LAZER BEAMS, and when she bubbles someone and there’s a crit, BAM, rainbows in your face! What’s not to like about rainbow soap bubbles? Even holy priests have PoM bouncing around, and probably other cool looking things that I don’t know about, because I’ve never been a Fail Angel. Trees get little green leaves and swirls on their targets, which is pretty sweet and very fitting for the class. Shamans have some sort of water falling on your head spell that makes me go “crap, what am I standing in, MOVE” whenever it’s cast on me, because I’ve been taught that if you see something besides plain ground, you need to haul ass. Not to mention that chain heal looks pretty snazzy when it’s moving around.

What do paladins have? Itty beams of light and glitter, and the exact same beams and glitter for both FoL and HL. This is insufficient for my needs, Blizzard. I require big explosions of light – when I cast Holy Light on a tank I want to see Light dripping from his every pore. Beacon of Light? HA, those silly Elder’s moonstones that everyone’s playing with right now are brighter than my bacon. There could be no confusion amongst multiple paladins in a raid when it comes to who’s Beaconing whom if there were actually a huge pillar of light over the Beacon, rather than an animation that makes the target dispense some light beams from her armpit. Sacred Shield is even disappointing because it doesn’t look like ANYTHING most of the time.

Pally wings are pretty much the only amazing spell effect that I have at my disposal, but WAIT! I have to save those for important moments involving Divine Plea and massive amounts of damage, so they don’t even get blown on many fights unless I do it at the end, because I’m always worried that I might need them later. Their awesome is not enough to make up for the fact that the majority of my healing looks boring, like this:

Amber Edits to Add:

Here, I fixed it for you.

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Just a little rant about holy paladining.

I think that when the WoW game designers are creating challenges for healing in new 5 man content, the thought process almost always goes towards “Yeah, let’s put in some AoE damage, that’ll do it!” Yeah, well as a holy paladin all I can say is SCREW YOU, Blizzard. I am disappointed in you, go sit in your corner. >(

This has been our weak point since the expansion started (and before then too, of course), though they have improved it a little bit over time, with letting overheals transfer through Beacon (yay, hax). But the fact that my freshly 80 resto druid with only a couple of T9 ilvl 232 pieces and a whole bunch of blues can keep a group up through heroic Pit of Saron just as easily (and maybe a little better) than my ICC geared holy paladin is just a big old slap in the face.

I joke about making Sophie’s choice when it comes to which of the dps will stay alive, but in all honesty it’s not fun. I don’t like having to make that call when I don’t feel that I should have to, because other healers don’t. I don’t like that I have to be able to throw heals at lightening speed to keep everyone alive, or the fact that you have to be geared to the teeth to even make that possible. I can’t even imagine how frustrating it is to be a newly 80 paladin trying to keep up! Actually, I kind of can because there was a point when heroics were HARD and I used to lose people to silly standing in things gimmicks much more frequently than I do now. One of my first healing experiences was wiping repeatedly in Gundrak because people stood in the poison. “But my holy priest can keep everyone up through that!” Well I am not a priest, so just do what you’re supposed to, ffs.

I realize that the game designers want to keep us in our nice little tank healing OMG BIG BALLS OF HOLY LIGHT niche, but it makes me angry that they don’t take that into consideration when designing encounters that aren’t raids, in content that is meant to be accessible by everyone. All three of the newest heroics are basically difficult because there are pulls where everyone is taking damage. Not such a big issue when you have chain heal, HoTs, CoH, or even shields, but when all you have is some Bacon, an instant cast on a cooldown, and a little heal with a cast time, it can be a big fat pain.

Just having people die is annoying. It’s even worse when people don’t understand that, so you get a lot of cries of “wtf, why didn’t you heal me through that?” and “you suck at healing!”. Yeah, well you suck at killing the boss fast enough to not get hit by the AoE, or at just plain getting out of the AoE. SO THERE.

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35 Comments

Crit or haste?

In the first few months of WotLK raiding, when I went holy for the first time, you would have had to pry crit from my cold dead hands. I went the way of the holy/ret build back then, because holy/prot hadn’t yet seen the changes of 3.1 that made it the viable (and my preferred) spec that it is now. I think I went insane over the fact that Soul of the Dead NEVER dropped for us from Sapphiron, week after week, and I’m pretty sure that when it finally did and I snatched it up, I let out my biggest happy squeal of all time. Torch of Holy Fire? Screw that, I’m snatching The Turning Tide away from our warlocks.

These days, I’m tooting a very different horn. I love haste and I can’t get enough of it, so much that I’m sitting well above the recommended 675 soft cap for haste rating from gear. Because we don’t always run with a boomkin in 10s and very rarely have a ret paladin, I don’t get the buffs from those classes in regards to haste, so I try to keep as much as possible on my gear, and I eat haste buff food.

Why the change? Well for one thing, crit just isn’t as good as it used to be. Critical strikes don’t return as much mana as they used to, so that benefit has gone a little out of the window, not to mention that improved gear from Naxx to Ice Cream Social and epic gems mean that mana pools are higher than ever. I can’t remember the last time that I felt truly strained for mana or felt that I would run dry with no chance to recover, even when chain casting Holy Light on fights like Marrowgar or Festergut or … everything else in ICC. Crit is nice for having those BIG NUMBERS heals, but in many cases the crits are just overheals for a class that has high overhealing anyway (not that there’s a problem with this – as long as you have mana and things don’t die, who cares about overheal?). Just sticking with the critical strike rating that’s on spell plate and other pieces, and the amount that you’ll naturally get from nom nom noming intellect gems should be sufficient – I just don’t see the benefit in gemming for crit rating when you can easily get to 30% or more holy crit from gear.

Haste on the other hand, while it has diminishing returns, is something that you can’t really go wrong with having a little more of. The more haste, the more spells you can cast. If you’re starting harder content, it can be a real life saver in terms of how much throughput you can manage. While you have a chance of getting critical strike heals that will top someone off, with haste there is a guarantee that you’ll be able to quickly put out a second heal. For me it’s a more reliable tool for OHCRAP moments, and probably the only thing that facilitates surviving fears in 5 mans (but that’s a whole ‘nother rant). I feel more secure with having plenty of haste and knowing that my heals have a higher probability of landing in time – our limitation is really speed rather than throughput or longevity. Also, this is what casting looks like when you’re hopped up on haste:

For srs.

Of course, the exception to all of this is the FoL build, in which case you don’t want haste OR crit, you want MOAR SPELLPOWER. That’s a completely foreign territory for me, but maybe someday I’ll give it a try for fun and ~SCIENCE~.

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12 Comments